Physical activity reduces anxiety and regulates brain fatty acid synthesis

Arkadiusz Liśkiewicz, Marta Przybyła, Anna Wojakowska, Łukasz Marczak, Katarzyna Bogus, Marta Nowacka-Chmielewska, Daniela Liśkiewicz, Andrzej Małecki, Jarosław Barski, Joanna Lewin-Kowalik, Michal Toborek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Physical activity impacts brain functions, but the direct mechanisms of this effect are not fully recognized or understood. Among multidimensional changes induced by physical activity, brain fatty acids (FA) appear to play an important role; however, the knowledge in this area is particularly scarce. Here we performed global metabolomics profiling of the hippocampus and the frontal cortex (FC) in a model of voluntary running in mice. Examined brain structures responded differentially to physical activity. Specifically, the markers of the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle were downregulated in the FC, whereas glycolysis was enhanced in the hippocampus. Physical activity stimulated production of myristic, palmitic and stearic FA; i.e., the primary end products of de novo lipogenesis in the brain, which was accompanied by increased expression of hippocampal fatty acid synthase (FASN), suggesting stimulation of lipid synthesis. The changes in the brain fatty acid profile were associated with reduced anxiety level in the running mice. Overall, the study examines exercise-related metabolic changes in the brain and links them to behavioral outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number62
JournalMolecular Brain
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 17 2020


  • Metabolome
  • Neurobehavior
  • Neurogenesis
  • Physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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