Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UC San Francisco Previously Published Works bannerUCSF

Active lifestyle enhances protein expression profile in subjects with Lewy body pathology.

  • Author(s): Real, Caroline Cristiano
  • Suemoto, Cláudia Kimie
  • Binda, Karina Henrique
  • Grinberg, Lea Tenenholz
  • Pasqualucci, Carlos Augusto
  • Jacob, Wilson
  • Ferretti-Rebustini, Renata Eloah de Lucena
  • Nitrini, Ricardo
  • Leite, Renata Elaine Paraizo
  • de Britto, Luiz Roberto
  • et al.

Clinical trials of the effects of physical activity have reported improvements in symptoms and quality of life in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). Additionally, morphological brain changes after exercising were reported in PD animal models. However, these lifestyle-related changes were not evaluated in postmortem brain tissue.


We aimed to evaluate, by immunohistochemistry, astrocytes, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and structural proteins expression (neurofilaments and microtubules - MAP2) changes in postmortem brain samples of individuals with Lewy body pathology.


Braak PD stage≥III samples, classified by neuropathology analysis, from The Biobank for Aging Studies were classified into active (n=12) and non-active (n=12) groups, according to physical activity lifestyle, and paired by age, sex and Braak staging. Substantia nigra and basal ganglia were evaluated.


Groups were not different in terms of age or gender and had similar PD neuropathological burden (p=1.00). We observed higher TH expression in the active group in the substantia nigra and the basal ganglia (p=0.04). Astrocytes was greater in the non-active subjects in the midbrain (p=0.03) and basal ganglia (p=0.0004). MAP2 levels were higher for non-active participants in the basal ganglia (p=0.003) and similar between groups in the substantia nigra (p=0.46). Neurofilament levels for non-active participants were higher in the substantia nigra (p=0.006) but not in the basal ganglia (p=0.24).


Active lifestyle seems to promote positive effects on brain by maintaining dopamine synthesis and structural protein expression in the nigrostriatal system and decrease astrogliosis in subjects with the same PD neuropathology burden.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
Current View