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Effects of physical exercise on behavior, sleep patterns and characteristics of dopaminergic, glutamaergic and adenosinergic systems in an animal model of Restless Legs Syndrome

Grant number: 20/13074-6
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: May 01, 2022 - April 30, 2024
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Physical Education
Principal researcher:Andrea Maculano Esteves
Grantee:Andrea Maculano Esteves
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Aplicadas (FCA). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Limeira , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers: Mauro Manconi


Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is a sleep-related movement disorder, characterized as a sensorimotor disorder, where physical exercise can be used as a non-pharmacological treatment. Among the main causes of RLS, in addition to the hereditary passage, there is the alteration in brain iron homeostasis, which can lead to dysfunction of the dopaminergic, glutamatergic and adenosinergic systems as a consequence. However, so far, little is known about the associations of these systems and the impact of a physical exercise protocol on the symptoms of the syndrome. Thus, the aim of the present study is to determine RLS in an animal model of iron deficiency, investigating the behavior, sleep architecture, and associated factors of the dopaminergic, glutamaergic and adenosinergic systems. Furthermore, it is important to assess the impact of a chronic physical exercise protocol on these variables. First, the characterization of the animal model (male Wistar rats) with iron deficiency will be carried out, and behavioral analyzes (locomotor, pain, memory and sleep), as well as molecular (dopamine, glutamate and serotonin) will be carried out after 6 weeks of the diet with restriction. After characterization, iron-deficient animals will be distributed into groups with and without aerobic exercise (chronic - 4 weeks - treadmill) and behavioral assessments will be performed at baseline, during (15 days) and after the physical exercise protocol . After completion, the striatum, marrow and blood of the animals will be collected for molecular analysis of the dopaminergic, glutamatergic and adenosinergic systems, as well as peripheral and central iron. (AU)

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