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Apolipoprotein E ε4 allele modulates the immediate impact of acute exercise on prefrontal function

De Marco, Matteo; Clough, Peter J.; Dyer, Charlotte E.; Vince, Rebecca V.; Waby, Jennifer S.; Midgley, Adrian W.; Venneri, Annalena


Matteo De Marco

Peter J. Clough

Jennifer S. Waby

Adrian W. Midgley

Annalena Venneri


The difference between Apolipoprotein E ε4 carriers and non-carriers in response to single exercise sessions was tested. Stroop and Posner tasks were administered to young untrained women immediately after walking sessions or moderately heavy exercise. Exercise had a significantly more profound impact on the Stroop effect than on the Posner effect, suggesting selective involvement of prefrontal function. A significant genotype-by-exercise interaction indicated differences in response to exercise between ε4 carriers and non-carriers. Carriers showed facilitation triggered by exercise. The transient executive down-regulation was construed as due to exercise-dependent hypofrontality. The facilitation observed in carriers was interpreted as better management of prefrontal metabolic resources, and explained within the antagonistic pleiotropy hypothesis framework. The findings have implications for the interpretation of differences between ε4 carriers and non-carriers in the benefits triggered by long-term exercise that might depend, at least partially, on mechanisms of metabolic response to physical activity.


De Marco, M., Clough, P. J., Dyer, C. E., Vince, R. V., Waby, J. S., Midgley, A. W., & Venneri, A. (2015). Apolipoprotein E ε4 allele modulates the immediate impact of acute exercise on prefrontal function. Behavior Genetics, 45(1), 106-116.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 5, 2014
Online Publication Date Sep 14, 2014
Publication Date 2015-01
Deposit Date Jun 19, 2019
Journal Behavior Genetics
Print ISSN 0001-8244
Electronic ISSN 1573-3297
Publisher Springer (part of Springer Nature)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 45
Issue 1
Pages 106-116
Keywords Prefrontal cortex; Physiological response; Stroop test; Posner test; Alzheimer’s disease
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