Objective: Environmental enrichment (EE) or exercise can positively affect memory function through increased long-term potentiation and neurogenesis, which is facilitated by brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF promotes blood vessel growth, angiogenesis linked to adult neurogenesis, and neuronal survival. Here, we investigated the effects of EE, aerobic exercise, and their combination on plasma and hippocampal BDNF levels. Materials and Methods: Twenty-four 7-month-old adult male Wistar rats weighing 300-400 g were randomly assigned to the following four groups: control (C), aerobic exercise (A), EE, and combined EE and aerobic exercise (EEA). Interventions were given for 8 weeks, and plasma and hippocampal BDNF levels were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results: A combination of aerobic exercise and continuous EE produced the largest increase in hippocampal and plasma BDNF levels in adult rats. A positive correlation (r = 0.686, P = 0.002, n = 24) was observed between plasma and hippocampal BDNF levels in adult rats. Conclusion: We conclude that a combination of aerobic exercise and continuous EE increases plasma and hippocampal BDNF in adult rats.
- Aerobic exercise
- brain-derived neurotrophic factor
- environmental enrichment