Cold water swimming pretreatment reduces cognitive deficits in a rat model of traumatic brain injury
Zhou ZW, Li YD, Gao WW, Chen JL, Yue SY, and Zhang JN. Cold water swimming pretreatment reduces cognitive deficits in a rat model of traumatic brain injury. Neural Regen Res 2017; 12(8):1322-1328.
Neural Regen Res
A moderate stress such as cold water swimming can raise the tolerance of the body to potentially injurious events. However, little is known about the mechanism of beneficial effects induced by moderate stress. In this study, we used a classic rat model of traumatic brain injury to test the hypothesis that cold water swimming preconditioning improved the recovery of cognitive functions and explored the mechanisms. Results showed that after traumatic brain injury, pre-conditioned rats (cold water swimming for 3 minutes at 4°C) spent a significantly higher percent of times in the goal quadrant of cold water swim, and escape latencies were shorter than for non-pretreated rats. The number of circulating endothelial progenitor cells was significantly higher in pre-conditioned rats than those without pretreatment at 0, 3, 6 and 24 hours after traumatic brain injury. Immunohistochemical staining and Von Willebrand factor staining demonstrated that the number of CD34+ stem cells and new blood vessels in the injured hippocampus tissue increased significantly in pre-conditioned rats. These data suggest that pretreatment with cold water swimming could promote the proliferation of endothelial progenitor cells and angiogenesis in the peripheral blood and hippocampus. It also ameliorated cognitive deficits caused by experimental traumatic brain injury.