Effects of Swimming Exercise on Limbic and Motor Cortex Neurogenesis in the Kainate-Lesion Model of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

Vasavi R. Gorantla, Richard M. Millis

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Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is a common neurological disease and antiseizure medication is often inadequate for preventing apoptotic cell death. Aerobic swimming exercise (EX) augments neurogenesis in rats when initiated immediately in the postictal period. This study tests the hypothesis that aerobic exercise also augments neurogenesis over the long term. Male Wistar rats (age of 4 months) were subjected to chemical lesioning using KA and to an EX intervention consisting of a 30 d period of daily swimming for 15 min, in one experiment immediately after KA lesioning (immediate exposure) and in a second experiment after a 60 d period of normal activity (delayed exposure). Morphometric counting of neuron numbers (NN) and dendritic branch points and intersections (DDBPI) was performed in the CA1, CA3, and dentate regions of hippocampus, in basolateral nucleus of amygdala, and in several areas of motor cortex. EX increased NN and DDBPI in the normal control and the KA-lesioned rats in all four limbic and motor cortex areas studied, after both immediate and 60 d delayed exposures to exercise. These findings suggest that, after temporal lobe epileptic seizures in rats, swimming exercise may improve neural plasticity in areas of the brain involved with emotional regulation and motor coordination, even if the exercise treatment is delayed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3915767
JournalCardiovascular Psychiatry and Neurology
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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