There is increasing evidence from us and other investigators that exercise produces endogenous protection in the brain after transient ischemia. Our primary goal is to establish an endogenous neuroprotective concept of exercise preconditioning in stroke by identifying the inflammatory mechanism and the cellular sites during neovascularization. We determine the relationship between exercise-induced angiogenesis and the extent of inflammation in ischemic regions, as well as determine the inflammatory reaction in neovascularization. We address causal roles of the cellular or molecular events with relation to reduction in brain inflammation in reperfusion injury. We elucidate TNF signaling pathways that mediate differential endothelial activation and downstream inflammatory events. The proposed strategy of exercised-induced endogenous neuroprotection can be extended to other therapeutic approaches, such as pharmacology. This strategy will allow the development of combined approaches to inhibit and stimulate appropriate targets simultaneously, thus reaching the highest therapeutic potential. Moreover, it may be possible to develop an innovative procedure in which simple preconditioning exercise, administered after a “wake-up call” such as a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or before surgery, can be used to limit subsequent ischemic injury.

Recent Publications in Peer-reviewed Journal:

Ding, Y, Li, J., Lai Q., Azam, S., Rafols, JA., Diaz, FG. (2002) Functional Improvement After Motor Training Is Correlated with Synaptic Plasticity in Rat Thalamus. Neurological Research . 24:(12) 829-836.

Ding, Y, Li, J., Clark J., Diaz F.G., Rafols, JA. (2003) Synaptic Plasticity in Thalamic Nuclei Enhanced by Motor Skill Training in Rat with Transient Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion. Neurological Research . 23:(2) 189-194.

Ding, Y, Li, J., Luan, XD, Lai Q., Rafols, JA, Diaz, FG (2004) Motor Balance and Coordination Training Enhances Functional Outcome in Rat with Transient Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion. Neuroscience . 123: 667-674.

Ding, Y, Li, J., Luan XD, Rafols JA, Phillis, JW, Diaz, FG (2004) Exercise Pre-conditioning Reduces Brain Damage in Ischemic Rats That May be Associated with Regional Angiogenesis and Cellular Overexpression of Neurotrophin. Neuroscience 124: 583-591.

Li J, Luan X, Clark J, Rafols JA, Ding Y. (2004) Neuroprotection against transient cerebral ischemia by exercise pre-conditioning in rats. Neurological Res 26 (6):404-408.

Ding YH; Li J, Rafols, JA, Clark JC; McAllister II JP, Diaz, F. G.; Guthikonda, M., Ding, Y. (2004) Exercise-induced angiogenic factors and reduction in ischemia/reperfusion injury. Current Neurovascular Res 1 (5): 411-420.

Ding Y, Ding YH, Young C, Luan X, Li J, Rafols JA, Phillis JW, Clark JC. (2005) Exercise pre-conditioning reduces inflammatory injury in ischemic rats during reperfusion. Acta Neuropathologica. 109:237-246.

Li J, Ding YH, Rafols JA, Lai Q, McAllister JP II , Ding Y-C (2005) Increased Astrocyte Proliferation in Rats After Running Exercise. Neurosci.Lett. 386(3):160-4.

Ding YH, Li J, Rafols, JA, Clark JC, Guthinkonda, M, Ding Y-C. Angiogenesis and Expression of Angiogenic Factors in Aging Rats after Exercise.

Ding YH, Li J, Rafols JA, Clark JC, Guthinkonda, M, Ding Y. (2006) Angiogenesis and Expression of Angiogenic Factors in Aging Rats after Exercise. Current Neurovascular Res. 3 (1):15-23.

Ding YH, Mrizek M, Lai Q, Wu Y, Li J, Davis W, Ding Y. (2006) Exercise Preconditioning Inhibit Expressions of TNF- α Receptors in Stroke. Current Neurovascular Res. 3 (4):263-71.