High-intensity interval training reduced oxidative stress and apoptosis in the hippocampus of male rats with type 2 diabetes: The role of the PGC1α-Keap1-Nrf2 signaling pathway

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Sports Science, Faculty of Educational Sciences and Psychology, Sistan and Baluchestan University, Zahedan, Iran

2 Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Center, Institute of Basic and Clinical Physiology Sciences, Afzalipour Faculty of Medicine, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

3 Student Research Committee, Afzalipour Faculty of Medicine, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran


Objective(s): This study aimed to determine the effect of 8-week high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on oxidative stress and apoptosis in the hippocampus of male rats with type 2 diabetes (T2D). The study focused on examining the role of proliferator-activated receptor gamma co-activator 1α (PGC1α)/Kelch-like ECH-associated protein Keap1/nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) signaling pathway.
Materials and Methods: Twenty-eight 8-week-old Wistar rats were randomly assigned to one of four groups (n=7): control (Con), type 2 diabetes (T2D), exercise (Ex), and exercise + type 2 diabetes (Ex+T2D). The Ex and Ex+T2D groups completed an 8-week exercise program consisting of 80-100% Vmax and 4–10 intervals. The homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) index was used to assess insulin resistance. The levels of Bcl2, BAX, musculoaponeurotic fibrosarcoma (Maf), Nrf2, Keap1, and PGC1α in the hippocampus were assessed using the western blot method. Additionally, the levels of antioxidant enzymes in the hippocampus were measured using ELISA.
Results: The findings indicated that the T2D group had lower levels of antioxidant enzymes, Maf, Bcl2, PGC1α, and Nrf2, and higher levels of BAX and Keap1 in the hippocampus. Conversely, the HIIT group exhibited increased levels of antioxidant enzymes, Maf, Bcl2, Nrf2, and PGC1α, along with decreased levels of BAX and Keap1 in the hippocampus.
Conclusion: The study demonstrated that 8-week HIIT was effective in reducing hippocampal apoptosis and oxidative stress induced by T2D by activating the PGC1α-Keap1-Nrf2 signaling pathway. The metabolic changes induced by exercise may lead to an increase in PGC1 expression, which is the primary stimulator of the Keap1-Nrf2 signaling pathway.


Main Subjects

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