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Front. Immunol. | doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.02856

T lymphocytes contribute to the control of baseline neural precursor cell proliferation but not the exercise-induced up-regulation of adult hippocampal neurogenesis

 Tara L. Walker1, 2*,  Sonja Schallenberg1, Nicole Rund1, Lisa Groennert1,  Ruslan Rust3,  Karsten Kretschmer1 and Gerd Kempermann1
  • 1Research Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden, Dresden University of Technology, Germany
  • 2Queensland Brain Institute, University of Queensland, Australia
  • 3ETH Zürich, Switzerland

Cross-talk between the peripheral immune system and the central nervous system is important for physiological brain health. T cells are required to maintain normal baseline levels of neural precursor proliferation in the hippocampus of adult mice. We show here that neither T cells, B cells, natural killer cells nor natural killer T cells are required for the increase in hippocampal precursor proliferation that occurs in response to physical exercise. In addition, we demonstrate that a subpopulation of T cells, regulatory T cells, is not involved in maintaining baseline levels of neural precursor proliferation. Even when applied at supraphysiological numbers, populations of both naive and stimulated lymphocytes had no effect on hippocampal precursor proliferation in vitro. In addition, physical activity had no effect on peripheral immune cells in terms of distribution in the bone marrow, lymph nodes or spleen, activation state or chemokine receptor (CXCR4 and CCR9) expression. Together these results suggest that lymphocytes are not involved in translating the peripheral effects of exercise to the neurogenic niche in the hippocampus and further support the idea that the exercise-induced regulation of adult neurogenesis is mechanistically distinct from its baseline control.

Keywords: T cell, Regulatory T cell (T reg), adult neurogenesis, Neural precursor cell, Dentate Gyrus, Hippocampus, physical exercise

Received: 19 Sep 2018; Accepted: 20 Nov 2018.

Edited by:

Jorge Matias-Guiu, Complutense University of Madrid, Spain

Reviewed by:

Thiago F. França, Fundação Universidade Federal do Rio Grande, Brazil
Salome Sirerol, University of Valencia, Spain  

Copyright: © 2018 Walker, Schallenberg, Rund, Groennert, Rust, Kretschmer and Kempermann. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Tara L. Walker, Research Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden, Dresden University of Technology, Dresden, 01307, Lower Saxony, Germany, t.walker1@uq.edu.au