The Science Forum Series is an opportunity for faculty and special guests to present their latest research to the campus community. Each presentation is approximately 45 minutes to one hour in length. Feel free to drop in and leave as your schedule permits.
» Science Forum Series
+ - February 13, 2017
Talithia Williams, Ph.D.
+ - March 1, 2017
Henriette van Praag, Ph.D.
Chapman University, Bush Conference Center, Beckman Hall 404
The production, survival and functional integration of newborn hippocampal cells can be upregulated by voluntary exercise in a running wheel in rodents. Enhanced adult hippocampal neurogenesis is correlated with increased synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus, improved spatial navigation and pattern separation in rodents, indicating that adult-born hippocampal cells play a role in cognition (Voss et al., 2013).
These newly born neurons are an integral part of local intra-hippocampal circuits as well as more distal (sub)cortical networks. A recent focus of our research is to understand the functional contribution of the different structures that provide direct input to new neurons in the adult brain during their development, as well as the reorganization of new neuron networks by exercise (Vivar et al., 2016).
Another important aspect of our research is to investigate the triggers of exercise induced changes in the brain. For these studies, we are researching the muscle-brain axis. Interestingly, compounds that activate energy metabolism pathways in muscle with AMP-kinase agonist AICAR (Narkar et al., 2008) can also benefit adult neurogenesis and memory function (Kobilo et al., 2011).
Based on these concepts and findings we set out to identify factors that may be released into circulation from muscle (myokines) that influence brain function. Using proteomic analysis, we found elevated levels of Cathepsin B (CTSB) in conditioned medium derived from skeletal muscle cell cultures treated with AICAR. In cultured neural progenitor cells CTSB application enhanced expression of neurogenic markers.
Analysis across species in mice, monkeys and humans showed that CTSB is upregulated in plasma with exercise. In humans, changes in CTSB levels correlated with fitness and hippocampus-dependent memory function (Moon et al., 2016). Ongoing studies pertaining to the peripheral effects of exercise on brain function will also be discussed.
+ - April 19, 2017
Lars Tomanek, Ph.D.
Title: The Stress Proteome of the Mussel Mytilus
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