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Type: Journal article
Title: Short-term environmental enrichment is a stronger modulator of brain glial cells and cervical lymph node T cell subtypes than exercise or combined exercise and enrichment
Author: Singhal, G.
Morgan, J.
Corrigan, F.
Toben, C.
Jawahar, M.C.
Jaehne, E.J.
Manavis, J.
Hannan, A.J.
Baune, B.T.
Citation: Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology, 2021; 41(3):469-486
Publisher: Springer Nature
Issue Date: 2021
ISSN: 0272-4340
Statement of
Gaurav Singhal, Julie Morgan, Frances Corrigan, Catherine Toben, Magdalene C. Jawahar, Emily J. Jaehne, Jim Manavis, Anthony J. Hannan, Bernhard T. Baune
Abstract: Physical exercise (PE) and environmental enrichment (EE) can modulate immunity. However, the differential effects of short-term PE, EE, and PE + EE on neuroimmune mechanisms during normal aging has not been elucidated. Hence, a cohort of 3-, 8-, and 13-month-old immunologically unchallenged C57BL/6 wild-type mice were randomly assigned to either Control, PE, EE, or PE + EE groups and provided with either no treatment, a running wheel, a variety of plastic and wooden objects alone or in combination with a running wheel for seven weeks, respectively. Immunohistochemistry and 8-color flow cytometry were used to determine the numbers of dentate gyrus glial cells, and the proportions of CD4⁺ and CD8⁺ T cell numbers and their subsets from cervical lymph nodes, respectively. An increase in the number of IBA1⁺ microglia in the dentate gyrus at 5 and 10 months was observed after EE, while PE and PE + EE increased it only at 10 months. No change in astroglia number in comparison to controls were observed in any of the treatment groups. Also, all treatments induced significant differences in the proportion of specific T cell subsets, i.e., CD4⁺ and CD8⁺ T naïve (TN), central memory (TCM), and effector memory (TEM) cells. Our results suggest that in the short-term, EE is a stronger modulator of microglial and peripheral T cell subset numbers than PE and PE + EE, and the combination of short-term PE and EE has no additive effects.
Keywords: Environmental enrichment; physical exercise; aging; microglia; astrocytes; T cells
Description: Published online: 25 May 2020
Rights: © The Author(s) 2020 Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
DOI: 10.1007/s10571-020-00862-x
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