We have tested the hypothesis that training with moderate- (MT), strenuous- (ST), or over- (OT) load can cause alterations in memory, lipid peroxidation, protein oxidation, DNA damage, activity of 8-oxoG-DNA glycosylase (OGG1) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), in rat brain. Rat memory was assessed by a passive avoidance test and the ST and OT group demonstrated improved memory. The content of BDNF was increased only in the OT group. The oxidative damage of lipids and DNA, as measured by thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), and 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), did not change significantly with exercise. Similarly, the activity of DNA repair enzyme, 8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase (OGG1), was not altered with exercise training. On the other hand, the content of reactive carbonyl derivatives (RCDs) decreased in all groups and the decrease reached significance levels in the ST and OT groups. The activity of the proteasome complex increased in the brain of OT. The findings of this study imply that over-training does not induce oxidative stress in the brain and does not cause loss of memory. The improved memory was associated with enhanced BDNF content.
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