Voluntary exercise induces neurogenesis in the hypothalamus and ependymal lining of the third ventricle

Atsuko Niwa, Masahiro Nishibori, Shinichi Hamasaki, Takuro Kobori, Keyue Liu, Hidenori Wake, Shuji Mori, Tadashi Yoshino, Hideo Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


In the adult hypothalamus and ependymal lining of the third ventricle, tanycytes function as multipotential progenitor cells that enable continuous neurogenesis, suggesting that tanycytes may be able to mediate the restoration of homeostatic function after stroke. Voluntary wheel running has been shown to alter neurochemistry and neuronal function and to increase neurogenesis in rodents. In the present study, we found that voluntary exercise improved the survival rate and energy balance of stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRSP/Kpo). We also investigated the effect of exercise on the proliferation and differentiation of hypothalamic cells using immunoreactivity for tanycytes and neural markers. The proliferation of elongated cells, which may be the tanycytes, was enhanced in exercising SHRSP compared to sedentary rats before and after stroke. In addition, the proliferation of cells was correlated with the induction of fibroblast growth factor-2 in the subependymal cells of the third ventricle and in the cerebrospinal fluid. Some of the newborn cells of exercising SHRSP showed differentiation into mature neurons after stroke. Our results suggest that voluntary exercise correlates with hypothalamic neurogenesis, leading to recovery of homeostatic functions in the adult brain after stroke.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1653-1666
Number of pages14
JournalBrain Structure and Function
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2016


  • Hypothalamus
  • Neurogenesis
  • Stroke
  • Stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats
  • Tanycytes
  • Voluntary exercise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Histology


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