Study sheds light on role of exercise and androgens such as testosterone on nerve damage repair

October 15, 2012

A study by researchers from Emory University and Indiana University found that the beneficial effects daily exercise can have on the regeneration of nerves also require androgens such as testosterone in both males and females. It is the first report of both androgen-dependence of exercise on nerve regeneration and of an androgenic effect of exercise in females.

"The findings will provide a basis for the development of future treatment strategies for patients suffering ," said Dale Sengelaub, professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at IU. "And they underscore the need to tailor those treatments differently for men and women."

The researchers discussed the study on Monday at the Neuroscience 2012 scientific meeting in New Orleans.

Injuries to are common. Hundreds of thousands of Americans are victims of traumatic injuries each year, and non-traumatic injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, are found in even higher numbers. The researchers previously showed that two weeks of moderate daily exercise substantially improves regeneration of cut nerves and leads to functional recovery in mice, though different types of exercise are required to produce the effect in males and females. They now report that these beneficial effects of exercise require androgens such as testosterone in both males and females.

In the study they conducted, they exercised three groups of male and . Nerves of the three groups were cut and surgically repaired. Once group received the drug flutamide, which blocks the androgen receptor. A second group received a . The third group was unexercised. Regenerating in the placebo group grew to more than twice the length of those in unexercised mice in both males and females. In flutamide-treated mice, the effects of exercise were blocked completely in both sexes.

The study, "Enhancement of peripheral axon regeneration by exercise requires androgen receptor signaling in both male and female mice," will be discussed from 11 a.m. to noon on Monday in Hall F-J. Co-authors are Arthur W. English and Nancy Thompson, both from Emory University.

Explore further: Race to nerve regeneration: faster is better

More information: The Society of Neuroscience is promoting the study to media covering the conference as a "Hot Topic."

Related Stories

Race to nerve regeneration: faster is better

October 3, 2011

A team of researchers led by Clifford Woolf and Chi Ma, at Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School, Boston, has identified a way to accelerate the regeneration of injured peripheral nerves in mice such that ...

Androgen boosts hepatitis B virus replication

February 16, 2012

Androgen enhances replication of hepatitis B virus (HBV), rendering males more vulnerable than females to this virus, according to research published in the February Journal of Virology.

Recommended for you

Mercury in fish, seafood may be linked to higher risk of ALS

February 20, 2017

Eating fish and seafood with higher levels of mercury may be linked to a higher risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), according to a preliminary study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of ...

Research reveals how the brain remembers fearful experiences

February 20, 2017

Understanding how the brain remembers can one day shed light on what went wrong when memory fails, such as it occurs in Alzheimer's disease. Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and Rice University reveal for the first ...

Stem cell transplants may help some with multiple sclerosis

February 20, 2017

(HealthDay)—Stem cell transplants may halt the progression of aggressive multiple sclerosis (MS) in nearly half of those with the debilitating disease, but picking the right patients for the treatment is key, a new study ...

Hope for new treatment for Huntington's disease

February 20, 2017

Researchers working at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and University of Southern Denmark have managed to produce short synthetic DNA analogues – oligonucleotides – that bind directly to the gene that is mutated in Huntington's ...

What the ability to 'get the gist' says about your brain

February 17, 2017

Many who have a chronic traumatic brain injury (TBI) report struggling to solve problems, understand complex information and maintain friendships, despite scoring normally on cognitive tests. New research from the Center ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.