Although previous studies have shown that forced exercise modulates inflammation and is therapeutic acutely for experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), the long-term benefits have not been evaluated. In this study, we investigated the effects of preconditioning exercise on the clinical and pathological progression of EAE. Female C57BL/6 mice were randomly assigned to either an exercised (Ex) or unexercised (UEx) group and all of them were induced for EAE. Mice in the Ex group had an attenuated clinical score relative to UEx mice throughout the study. At 42 dpi, flow cytometry analysis showed a significant reduction in B cells, CD4+ T cells, and CD8+ T cells infiltrating into the spinal cord in the Ex group compared to UEx. Ex mice also had a significant reduction in myelin damage with a corresponding increase in proteolipid protein expression. Finally, Ex mice had a significant reduction in axonal damage. Collectively, our study demonstrates for the first time that a prolonged and forced preconditioning protocol of exercise improves clinical outcome and attenuates pathological hallmarks of EAE at chronic disease.
- axonal damage
- experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE)
- swimming exercise
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience