Daily spontaneous running alters behavioral and neurochemical indexes of nigrostriatal function

D. E. Dluzen, B. Liu, Chao-Yin Chen, S. E. DiCarlo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Behavioral and neurochemical indexes of nigrostriatal dopaminergic function were compared between sedentary control rats (n = 12) and daily spontaneous running (DSR) male rats (n = 10). Nine weeks of DSR did not significantly alter body, heart, pituitary, or testes weights. DSR and control animals did differ in performance on a sensorimotor beam walking task, with DSR rats showing significantly shorter times required to cross the beam (60 ± 17 vs. 119 ± 14 s; P < 0.02) as well as fewer slips off the beam (3.0 ± 0.8 vs. 6.2 ± 1.1; P < 0.05). DSR animals also engaged in significantly greater durations of social investigation than control rats (43 ± 5 vs. 25 ± 3 s; P < 0.01) when tested in a social investigation memory- recognition test. Basal dopamine release rates from superfused corpus striatal tissue fragments of DSR rats were about one-half those obtained from control animals (18 ± 5 vs. 34 ± 6 pg · mg-1 · min-1; P < 0.05), whereas responses of these striatal tissue fragments to a depolarizing concentration of potassium were virtually identical (45 ± 10 vs. 47 ± 8 pg · mg-1 · min-1). These data indicate that a relatively limited intensity of DSR insufficient to alter cardiovascular function can exert substantial effects on behavioral and neurochemical indicators of nigrostriatal dopaminergic activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1219-1224
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • corpus striatum
  • dopamine
  • exercise
  • sensorimotor
  • social investigation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Physiology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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