The role of astrocytes on the effects of exercise on episodic memory function

Author(s): Loprinzi PD


This review discusses the potential role that glial cells may play in influencing the relationship between exercise and episodic memory function. A narrative review methodology is employed. Herein, the different types of glial cells, their implications in subserving episodic memory function, and how exercise can modulate glial cell activity, particularly astrocyte functionality, are discussed. Although additional experimental work is needed, astrocytes appear to play an important role in the exercise–memory interaction. Exercise may increase astrocytic size, attenuate astrogliodegeneration, improve astrocytic aquaporin-4 expression, and increase astrocytic transporter levels. These effects, in turn, may help to increase the number of synapses that neurons form, increase the number of synaptic structures, and increase presynaptic function and postsynaptic receptor localization. Ultimately, these effects may help influence long-term potentiation and episodic memory function.

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