University of Wisconsin - Green Bay


Research Council

Research
Success

Amanda Nelson

Amanda Nelson

Spring 2014

"Effects of Chronic Exercise Training on Glucocorticoid Levels and Neuroplasticity in Cardiorespiratory and Locomotor Centers of the Brain. Does a Dose-Response Relationship Exist?"

Grant in Aid of Research

Final Report: "Previous studies from our lab suggest that dendritic attenuation occurs in cardiorespiratory and locomotor centers of the brain (CRLC) with voluntary exercise. However, the mechanism underlying these adaptations is unknown. Furthermore, exercise training diminishes neural responses to stress in brain areas responsible for regulating peripheral sympathetic activity, which suggests that there may be a constraint on sympathetic responses to stress. Corticosterone is secreted by the adrenal cortices and is the major glucocorticoid found in rats. Circulating corticosterone levels rapidly increase under stressful situations (i.e. experimental stimuli). Elevated levels of corticosterone influence a vast number of cellular processes within the central nervous system, including: inhibition of cell proliferation, inhibition of new neuron formation, synaptic plasticity and neurotransmission disruption. The purpose of this investigation is to examine whether or not a dose-response relationship exists between elevated plasma corticosterone levels due to exercise training and neuroplasticity in CRLC. Thirty male Sprague-Dawley rats were housed in individual cages and randomly divided into three groups, untrained (no scheduled activity), trained (a moderate eight-week treadmill protocol), and acute trained (a single bout of exercise completed immediately prior to death). Plasma corticosterone and nervous tissue samples were collected from the animals at the completion of the eight-week protocol. Quantitative determination of plasma corticosterone will be determined using the IDS OCTEIA kit, a competitive enzymeimmunoassay. After all of the brains have been stained and processed according to the Golgi-Cox procedure, a 1-2 year microscopic analysis of the CRLC will be required before examining whether or not a dose-response relationship exists between plasma corticosterone levels and neuroplastic adaptations due to exercise training. Thanks to funding from UWGB’s Research Council, we were able to purchase and care for the animals necessary for the initial stages of this project."


Spring 2011

"Pilot Study - Effects of Exercise Training on Dendritic Morphology in the Cardiorespiratory and Locomotor Centers of the Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat"

Grant in Aid of Research


Spring 2010

"Sectioning and Processing Neural Tissue Previously Stained Using a Modified Golgi-Cox Procedure"

Grant in Aid of Research


Fall 2008

"Stress, Glucocorticoids and Structural Plasticity in Cardiorespiratory and Locomotor Centers of the Brain"

Grant in Aid of Research