The scientific literature has extensively documented the beneficial effects of physical exercise on brain function. Physical exercise has the ability to improve the cognitive function, decrease age-related memory loss, delay the onset of neurodegenerative diseases, facilitate recovery after brain injury and improve depressive symptoms. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, non-coding RNAs of approximately 23 nucleotides that act as potent silencers of gene expression by inducing translational repression or degradation of target mRNA. miRNAs regulate the expression of genes involved in several biological processes, such as cell cycle, apoptosis, and cell differentiation. These molecules are abundantly present in the adult brain and have a spatiotemporal expression pattern. The neurobiological role of these molecules in processes such as brain development, aging, injury, cognition and neurological disorders, has received more attention only in recent years. Considering the key role of this noncoding RNAs on post-transcriptional control of gene expression, and the positive influence that physical exercise promotes on brain function, the present study aims to investigate the effects of acute, short and long-term aerobic exercise on expression and distribution of miRNAs in the hippocampus of adult rats. The results of this study can help us to understand the complexity of the mechanisms underlying the exercise-induced improvement on brain function, and may contribute to identifying potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of several neurological diseases.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: