The Journal of Physiological Sciences

, Volume 69, Issue 6, pp 993–1004 | Cite as

The effects of moderate exercise and overtraining on learning and memory, hippocampal inflammatory cytokine levels, and brain oxidative stress markers in rats

  • Zahra Jahangiri
  • Zahra GholamnezhadEmail author
  • Mahmoud Hosseini
  • Farimah Beheshti
  • Narges Kasraie
Original Paper


To investigate the exercise intensity effects on rats’ memory and learning, animals were divided into control, moderate training (MT), and overtraining (OT) groups. At training last week, learning and memory was assessed using Morris water maze (MWM) and passive avoidance (PA) tests. Finally, the rat’s brains were removed for evaluating oxidative stress and inflammatory cytokines. Overtraining impaired animal’s performance in MWM and PA tests. In MT group, hippocampal levels of interleukin 1 beta (IL-1β) and malondialdehyde (MDA) increased, and thiol contents in hippocampal and cortical tissues decreased compared to control. In OT group, tumor necrosis factor α, IL-1β, and C-reactive protein hippocampal levels increased, MDA and nitric oxide metabolite in hippocampal and cortical tissues increased, thiol contents, catalase and superoxide dismutase activity in hippocampal and cortical tissues decreased compared to control and MT groups. Overtraining might lead to learning and memory impairment by increasing the inflammatory cytokine and oxidative stress markers.


Moderate training Overtraining Learning Memory Inflammation Oxidative stress 



The results described in this paper are part of the M.Sc. student’s thesis. The authors would like to thank the Vice Presidency of Research of Mashhad University of Medical Sciences for financial support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interests

The authors declare no conflicts of interest in this study.

Supplementary material

12576_2019_719_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (14 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (XLSX 14 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Physiological Society of Japan and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Neurogenic Inflammation Research CenterMashhad University of Medical SciencesMashhadIran
  2. 2.Neurogenic Inflammation Research Center, Department of Physiology, Faculty of MedicineMashhad University of Medical SciencesMashhadIran
  3. 3.Division of Neurocognitive Sciences, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Research CenterMashhad University of Medical SciencesMashhadIran
  4. 4.Neuroscience Research CenterTorbat Heydariyeh University of Medical SciencesTorbat HeydariyehIran
  5. 5.Department of Physiology, School of Paramedical SciencesTorbat Heydariyeh University of Medical SciencesTorbat HeydariyehIran
  6. 6.Rosenberg School of OptometryUniversity of the Incarnate WordSan AntonioUSA

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