On Nov. 13th, 2015, Prof. Kwok-Fai So visited Institute of Biophysics (IBP), CAS and gave a lecture entitled Exercises and Neurogenesis. This lecture, which is a part of the special lecture series of BEI Shizhang Lecture of IBP, was hosted by Prof. CHEN Chang.
Prof. Kwok-Fai So is the Director of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Institute of CNS Regeneration in Jinan University, Professor of Department of Ophthalmology and Cognitive National Laboratory in the University of Hong Kong, Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Committee Member of China’s Ministry of Education “2011 plan” Expert Advisory Committee, Member of the Ministry of Science and Technology 973 plan Expert Advisory Group, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Spinal Cord Injury Study in China, Chairman of the Hong Kong Fund of Spinal Cord Injury, editor in chief of China’s Neural Regeneration Research Magazine. Prof. So received his PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States. He is committed to studying the optic nerve axon regeneration system. In 1985, he first confirmed that the use of peripheral nerve transplantation method could make the adult mammalian retinal ganglion cells regeneration from long distances. In 1995, he won the National Natural Science (National Natural Science Foundation of China), and was elected as Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1999. He has published more than 360 articles and has applied for 22 patents.
In the report, Prof. Kwok-Fai So described the point that "Less physical exercise is a health crisis". Along with the spread of neurodegenerative diseases, we need effective action to prevent or change the pathogenic process. The study of Prof. Kwok-Fai So found that exercise can reduce the incidence of neurodegenerative diseases, and significantly improve the health of the brain. Exercise can rise the hippocampal blood volume, promote neurogenesis, and increase the dendritic complex and the density of dendritic spines, thereby increasing the synaptic plasticity in the hippocampal neurons. On the other hand, Prof. Kwok-Fai So also proved that voluntary running exercise can significantly reduce the rat depression behavior in the mild depression model, rescue the hippocampus neurogenesis and the BDNF protein level, increase the complexity of the dendrites of pyramidal neurons in hippocampal CA3 area, and enhance the ability of spatial learning and memory, but cannot improve the performance of severe depression model. Prof. Kwok-Fai So further confirmed the continued forced running can maintain the plasticity of the hippocampal neurons, prevent the proliferation of the hippocampal neurons, and increase the expression of synaptic proteins and block the development of severe depression. Next, Prof. Kwok-Fai So also reported his new research on the exercise and neurogenesis about adiponectin. The results showed that two-week running can increase the plasma adiponectin level, with the increase of neurogenesis in the hippocampus. Adiponectin can get through the blood brain barrier, reduce the depression behavior, and increased the hippocampal neurons proliferation. The same exercise cannot improve the depression behavior, neither can increase hippocampal neurogenesis in adiponectin knockout mice. These results suggested that adiponectin can play an important role in the hippocampal neurogenesis enhancement and depression behavior reduction induced by exercise and it was confirmed that the effect was achieved by ADNR1/AMPK signaling pathway, which demonstrated that adiponectin may be a potential target for depression treatment.
Prof. Kwok-Fai So’s visit has brought new academic ideas and cooperation opportunities, which will play a vital role in promoting the development of scientific research in IBP in the future.