Exercise attenuates the clinical, synaptic and dendritic abnormalities of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis

Silvia Rossi, Roberto Furlan, Valentina De Chiara, Alessandra Musella, Temistocle Lo Giudice, Giorgia Mataluni, Francesca Cavasinni, Cristina Cantarella, Giorgio Bernardi, Luca Muzio, Alessandro Martorana, Gianvito Martino, Diego Centonze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Voluntary exercise is beneficial in models of primarily neurodegenerative disorders. Whether exercise also affects inflammatory neurodegeneration is unknown. In the present study, we evaluated the clinical, synaptic and neuropathological effects of voluntary wheel running in mice with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG)-induced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a model of multiple sclerosis. Exercising EAE mice exhibited less severe neurological deficits compared to control EAE animals. The sensitivity of striatal GABA synapses to the stimulation of cannabinoid CB1 receptors was dramatically downregulated following EAE induction, and was rescued by exercise in EAE mice with access to a running wheel. Finally, we found that exercise was able to contrast dendritic spine loss induced by EAE in striatal neurons, although the degree of inflammatory response was similar in the two experimental groups. Our work suggests that life style and experiences can impact the clinical course of inflammatory neurodegenerative diseases by affecting their synaptic bases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-59
Number of pages9
JournalNeurobiology of Disease
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009


  • Cannabinoid CB1 receptors
  • Dendritic spines
  • EAE
  • IPSC
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neuroprotection
  • Running wheel
  • Striatum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology


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