Just Do It

No time to exercise? There might still be a “runners high” on the way!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Whew! Just one more lap around the block! Or … hamster wheel? Even lab mice can get a “runners’ high!” And those who get their laps in on wheels have higher levels of a protein called clusterin. So do humans – IF we exercise regularly.  

Zurine de Miguel at Stanford University and colleagues are investigating clusterin’s benefits. 

Specifically, its effect on brain inflammation. The researchers worked with mice with inflammation in the hippocampus – the brain’s memory and learning center. Next, they injected clusterin into these mice. To observe the inflammation, they looked at which inflammatory genes were active. 

Results? The mice injected with clusterin had LOWER brain inflammation signals. Over twenty inflammatory genes were less active with the clusterin treatment!

Scientists think this clusterin treatment could benefit patients who aren’t able to exercise. It may help patients with brain inflammation, like those with Alzheimer’s disease.

For now, maybe let’s lace up those Nikes and Just Do It!

Reference: De Miguel, Z., Khoury, N., Betley, M. J., et al. (2021). Exercise plasma boosts memory and dampens brain inflammation via clusterin. Nature, 10.1038/s41586-021-04183-x. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-04183-x