Interplay between exercise and dietary fat modulates myelinogenesis in the central nervous system

Hyesook Yoon, Andrew Kleven, Alex Paulsen, Laurel Kleppe, Jianmin Wu, Zhe Ying, Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, Isobel A. Scarisbrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Here we show that the interplay between exercise training and dietary fat regulates myelinogenesis in the adult central nervous system. Mice consuming high fat with coordinate voluntary running wheel exercise for 7 weeks showed increases in the abundance of the major myelin membrane proteins, proteolipid (PLP) and myelin basic protein (MBP), in the lumbosacral spinal cord. Expression of MBP and PLP RNA, as well that for Myrf1, a transcription factor driving oligodendrocyte differentiation were also differentially increased under each condition. Furthermore, expression of IGF-and its receptor IGF-1R, known to promote myelinogenesis, were also increased in the spinal cord in response to high dietary fat or exercise training. Parallel increases in AKT signaling, a pro-myelination signaling intermediate activated by IGF-1, were also observed in the spinal cord of mice consuming high fat alone or in combination with exercise. Despite the pro-myelinogenic effects of high dietary fat in the context of exercise, high fat consumption in the setting of a sedentary lifestyle reduced OPCs and mature oligodendroglia. Whereas 7 weeks of exercise training alone did not alter OPC or oligodendrocyte numbers, it did reverse reductions seen with high fat. Evidence is presented suggesting that the interplay between exercise and high dietary fat increase SIRT1, PGC-1α and antioxidant enzymes which may permit oligodendroglia to take advantage of diet and exercise-related increases in mitochondrial activity to yield increases in myelination despite higher levels of reactive oxygen species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)545-555
Number of pages11
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016


  • Dietary fat
  • Exercise
  • Myelin
  • Oligodendrocyte
  • Spinal cord
  • Western diet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology


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