Physical exercise protects against Alzheimer's disease in 3xTg-AD mice

Yoelvis García-Mesa, Juan Carlos López-Ramos, Lydia Giménez-Llort, Susana Revilla, Rafael Guerra, Agnès Gruart, Frank M. Laferla, Rosa Cristòfol, José M. Delgado-García, Coral Sanfeliu

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172 Citations (Scopus)


Physical exercise is considered to exert a positive neurophysiological effect that helps to maintain normal brain activity in the elderly. Expectations that it could help to fight Alzheimer's disease (AD) were recently raised. This study analyzed the effects of different patterns of physical exercise on the 3xTg-AD mouse. Male and female 3xTg-AD mice at an early pathological stage (4-month-old) have had free access to a running wheel for 1 month, whereas mice at a moderate pathological stage(7-month-old) have had access either during 1 or 6 months. The non-transgenic mouse strain was used as a control. Parallel animal groups were housed in conventional conditions. Cognitive loss and behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD)-like behaviors were present in the 3xTg-AD mice along with alteration in synaptic function and ong-term potentiation impairment in vivo. Brain tissue showed AD-pathology and oxidative-related changes. Disturbances were more severe at the older age tested. Oxidative stress was higher in males but other changes were similar or higher in females. Exercise treatment ameliorated cognitive deterioration and BPSD-like behaviors such as anxiety and the startle response. Synaptic changes were partially protected by exercise. Oxidative stress was reduced. The best neuroprotection was generally obtained after 6 months of exercise in 7-month-old 3xTg-AD mice. Improved sensorimotor function and brain tissue antioxidant defence were induced in both 3xTg-AD and NonTg mice. Therefore, the benefits of aerobic physical exercise on synapse, redox homeostasis, and general brain function demonstrated in the 3xTg-AD mouse further support the value of this healthy life-style against neurodegeneration. © 2011 IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-454
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011


  • 3xTg-AD mouse
  • age
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • amyloid-β
  • behavior
  • cognition
  • electrophysiology
  • gender
  • oxidative stress
  • PHF-tau
  • voluntary exercise


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