Establishing Equivalent Aerobic Exercise Parameters Between Early-Stage Parkinson's Disease and Pink1 Knockout Rats




Salvatore, Michael F.
Soto, Isabel
Kasanga, Ella A.
James, Rachael
Shifflet, Marla K.
Doshier, Kirby
Little, Joel T.
John, Joshia
Alphonso, Helene M.
Cunningham, J. Thomas


0000-0001-8859-9481 (Cunningham, J. Thomas)
0000-0001-6935-1739 (Nejtek, Vicki A.)

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IOS Press


BACKGROUND: Rodent Parkinson's disease (PD) models are valuable to interrogate neurobiological mechanisms of exercise that mitigate motor impairment. Translating these mechanisms to human PD must account for physical capabilities of the patient. OBJECTIVE: To establish cardiovascular parameters as a common metric for cross-species translation of aerobic exercise impact. METHOD: We evaluated aerobic exercise impact on heart rate (HR) in 21 early-stage PD subjects (Hoehn Yahr </=1.5) exercising in non-contact boxing training for >/=3 months, >/=3x/week. In 4-month-old Pink1 knockout (KO) rats exercising in a progressively-increased treadmill speed regimen, we determined a specific treadmill speed that increased HR to an extent similar in human subjects. RESULTS: After completing aerobic exercise for approximately 30 min, PD subjects had increased HR approximately 35% above baseline ( approximately 63% maximum HR). Motor and cognitive test results indicated the exercising subjects completed the timed up and go (TUG) and trail-making test (TMT-A) in significantly less time versus exercise-naive PD subjects. In KO and age-matched wild-type (WT) rats, treadmill speeds of 8-10 m/min increased HR up to 25% above baseline ( approximately 67% maximum HR), with no further increases up to 16 m/min. Exercised KO, but not WT, rats showed increased locomotor activity compared to an age-matched exercise-naive cohort at 5 months old. CONCLUSION: These proof-of-concept results indicate HR is a cross-species translation parameter to evaluate aerobic exercise impact on specific motor or cognitive functions in human subjects and rat PD models. Moreover, a moderate intensity exercise regimen is within the physical abilities of early-stage PD patients and is therefore applicable for interrogating neurobiological mechanisms in rat PD models.



Salvatore, M. F., Soto, I., Kasanga, E. A., James, R., Shifflet, M. K., Doshier, K., Little, J. T., John, J., Alphonso, H. M., Cunningham, J. T., & Nejtek, V. A. (2022). Establishing Equivalent Aerobic Exercise Parameters Between Early-Stage Parkinson's Disease and Pink1 Knockout Rats. Journal of Parkinson's disease, 12(6), 1897-1915.


© 2022 — The authors.


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