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Depletion of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 reduces brain serotonin and impairs the running-induced neurogenic response

  • Friederike Klempin
  • Valentina Mosienko
  • Susann Matthes
  • Daniel C. Villela
  • Mihail Todiras
  • Josef M. Penninger
  • Michael Bader
  • Robson A. S. Santos
  • Natalia Alenina
Original Article

Abstract

Physical exercise induces cell proliferation in the adult hippocampus in rodents. Serotonin (5-HT) and angiotensin (Ang) II are important mediators of the pro-mitotic effect of physical activity. Here, we examine precursor cells in the adult brain of mice lacking angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) 2, and explore the effect of an acute running stimulus on neurogenesis. ACE2 metabolizes Ang II to Ang-(1–7) and is essential for the intestinal uptake of tryptophan (Trp), the 5-HT precursor. In ACE2-deficient mice, we observed a decrease in brain 5-HT levels and no increase in the number of BrdU-positive cells following exercise. Targeting the Ang II/AT1 axis by blocking the receptor, or experimentally increasing Trp/5-HT levels in the brain of ACE2-deficient mice, did not rescue the running-induced effect. Furthermore, mice lacking the Ang-(1–7) receptor, Mas, presented a normal neurogenic response to exercise. Our results identify ACE2 as a novel factor required for exercise-dependent modulation of adult neurogenesis and essential for 5-HT metabolism.

Keywords

5-HT BrdU Hippocampus Physical exercise Neurobiology 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) award KL 2805/1-1 to F.K., the Brazilian fellowship BJT 407352/2013-9 to N.A., the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)/the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) program PROBRAL to N.A. and R.A.S.S, and RSF Grant 14-50-00069 to N.A. The authors thank Susanne da Costa Goncalves, Sabine Grüger, Charlene Memler, and Thorsten Riepenhausen for their excellent technical assistance.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Friederike Klempin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Valentina Mosienko
    • 1
    • 8
  • Susann Matthes
    • 1
  • Daniel C. Villela
    • 3
    • 9
  • Mihail Todiras
    • 1
  • Josef M. Penninger
    • 4
  • Michael Bader
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
    • 6
  • Robson A. S. Santos
    • 3
  • Natalia Alenina
    • 1
    • 6
    • 7
  1. 1.Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular MedicineBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Charité, University Medicine BerlinBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFmG), ICBBelo HorizonteBrazil
  4. 4.Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of SciencesViennaAustria
  5. 5.Institute of BiologyUniversity of LübeckLübeckGermany
  6. 6.DZHK (German Centre for Cardiovascular Research), Partner Site BerlinBerlinGermany
  7. 7.Institute of Translational Biomedicine, St. Petersburg State UniversitySaint PetersburgRussia
  8. 8.University of Exeter Medical SchoolExeterUK
  9. 9.Federal University of Jequitinhonha and Mucuri ValleysDiamantinaBrazil

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