Oxidative stress and neurotrophic support decline seem to be crucially involved in brain aging. Emerging evidences indicate the pro-oxidant methylglyoxal (MG) as a key player in the age-related dicarbonyl stress and molecular damage within the central nervous system. Although exercise promotes the overproduction of reactive oxygen species, habitual exercise may retard cellular aging and reduce the age-dependent cognitive decline through hormetic adaptations, yet molecular mechanisms underlying beneficial effects of exercise are still largely unclear. In particular, whereas adaptive responses induced by exercise initiated in youth have been broadly investigated, the effects of chronic and moderate exercise begun in adult age on biochemical hallmarks of very early senescence in mammal brains have not been extensively studied. This research investigated whether a long-term, forced and moderate running initiated in adult age may affect the interplay between the redox-related profile and the oxidative-/MG-dependent molecular damage patterns in CD1 female mice cortices; as well, we investigated possible exercise-induced effects on the activity of the brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)-dependent pathway. Our findings suggested that after a transient imbalance in almost all parameters investigated, the lately-initiated exercise regimen strongly reduced molecular damage profiles in brains of adult mice, by enhancing activities of the main ROS- and MG-targeting scavenging systems, as well as by preserving the BDNF-dependent signaling through the transition from adult to middle age.
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