WHO: Sama Sleiman (Prof.), Biochemistry, LAU
WHEN: March 18th, 4:30-6:00pm
WHERE: AUB, West Hall, #310


Exercise induces beneficial responses in the brain, which is accompanied by an increase in BDNF, a trophic factor associated with cognitive improvement and the alleviation of depression and anxiety. However, the exact mechanisms whereby physical exercise produces an induction in brain BDNF gene expression are not well understood. While pharmacological doses of HDAC inhibitors exert positive effects upon the BDNF gene transcription, the inhibitors represent small molecules that do not occur in vivo. Here, we report that an endogenous molecule released after exercise is capable of inducing key promoters of the BDNF gene. Low concentrations of β-hydroxybutyrate, which increase after prolonged exercise, induce the activities of BDNF promoters, particularly promoter I, which is activity-dependent. We have discovered the action of β-hydroxybutyrate is specifically upon HDAC2 and HDAC3, which act upon selective BDNF promoters. Moreover, the effects upon BDNF hippocampal expression were observed after direct ventricular application of β-hydroxybutyrate. These results reveal an endogenous mechanism by which exercise leads to the induction of BDNF.