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Purpose of the study: Experiencing early life stress (ELS) is associated with increased risk of mood disorders and comorbid medical conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). However, it is not known whether ELS contributes directly to disease manifestation. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate the effects of voluntary exercise on mitochondrial dysfunction in the bowel fibroblasts, following confirmation of anxiety behavior. Methods: Maternal separation (MS) was applied as a valid animal model of brain–gut axis dysfunction in rats from postnatal day (PND) 2 to 14 for 3h per day. At PND 21, animals were divided to four groups including: Control, Running wheel (RW) exercise, Maternal Separation (MS), and MS+RW groups, and were kept in different groups (4 rats per cage) until test day .   At PND 60, anxiety-like behaviors were assessed using elevated plus maze (EPM), and mitochondrial function in bowel fibroblast was confirmed by oxidative stress biomarkers including ROS (reactive oxygen species) production, GSH and ATP levels. Results: Findings revealed that ELS is able to affect gut energy metabolism, and RW exercise during adolescence is able to mitigate the negative effects of MS on anxiety behavior and mitochondrial function in the gut of rats.
Conclusion: Overall, amelioration of anxiety-like behaviors, as well as rate of ROS production consistent to increasing in GSH and ATP level, following RW exercise, provide a key role for mitochondria in the colonic secretory functions. Therefore, effects on mitochondrial dysfunction in an ELS animal model revealed a potential relationship between brain and gut in rats.
Type of Study: Original | Subject: Behavioral Neuroscience
Received: 2018/08/1 | Accepted: 2019/05/7

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