Linda Hildegard Bergersen

Professor - EM / ANAT
Image of Linda Hildegard Bergersen
Norwegian version of this page
Phone +47 22840288
Mobile phone +47 97032049
Other affiliations Institute of Oral Biology

Breaking News:  Why is physical exercise good for the brain?

In numerous investigations, physical exercise is the most effective measure against dementia, and is beneficial against normal aging and several brain diseases; how does information from muscles reach the brain? We just found out:

Active muscles deliver large quantities of lactate to the blood and thereby to the brain, where it hits a receptor protein, the lactate receptor HCAR1. The activated HCAR1 causes production of growth factors, such as VEGF, which stimulates nerve cells and causes formation of new capillaries – the thinnest blood vessels, where the vital substance exchange takes place. Seven weeks of high intensity interval training five days a week, or injections of lactate to reach similar blood lactate levels, caused increase of VEGF and capillaries in hippocampus in wild-type mice, but not in knockout mice lacking HCAR1.

This is the first time that a substance from exercising muscle has been shown to change the brain through an identified receptor. As impaired blood supply and nerve cell death are key problems in aging and neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, the findings open a new approach to treatment.

Other webpages


PhD: Disputation date: 09.03.2001 Thesis title: “Monocarboxylate transporters in excitable tissues” Supervisor Professor Ole Petter Ottersen. Collaboration between University of Sport and Physical Activity and Faculty of Medicine/Department of Anatomy, University of Oslo, Norway




2015-           Head of Electron Microscopy Laboratory, Institute of Oral Biology (IOB), UiO, Norway

2013-           Professor in Physiology at the Faculty of Dentistry

2013-           Leader of the Brain and Muscle Energy Group at the IOB, Department of Oral Biology, University of Oslo, Norway 

2011-           Professor of Neurobiology of Aging at the Center of Healthy Aging (CEHA), Medical Faculty, University of Copenhagen, Denmark


2017- 2020         Dean of Research at the Faculty of Dentistry, UiO, Norway

2011-2013   Associate Professor and “Linjeleder” at the Synaptic Neurochemistry Laboratory (SN-Lab), Institute of Basic Medical Sciences (IMB), UiO

2009-2012   Leader of the SN-Lab, Department of Anatomy, IMB and Centre for Molecular Biology and Neuroscience (CMBN), UiO. 

2004-2013   Leader of the Brain and Muscle Energy Group at the SN-Lab, Department of Anatomy, IMB and CMBN, UiO (moved the group to IOB 2013) in the field of synaptic transmission and energy metabolism in brain and skeletal muscle

2002-2012   Researcher, Centre for Molecular Biology and Neuroscience (CMBN), a Norwegian Centre of Excellence, funded by the Nordic Centre of Excellence Program in Molecular Medicine

2002&2004 Post-Doctoral personal grant from the Research Council of Norway (RCN), Department of Anatomy and CMBN, UiO

2003            Post-Doctoral stay (personal grant RCN) one year abroad at the Institute of Physiology, University of Lausanne, Switzerland


Major grants include Research Council Norway FRMEDBIO (2012-2016)  3 postdocs and 1 PhD. FRIBIO ES460355 (2011-2014) 2 postdocs and 1 PhD. VELUX Foundation (2013-2015), University of Copenhagen (shared with M Kolko) 1 postdoc. Lundbeck Foundation (2012-2018) University of Copenhagen, 2 PhD and running cost. In addition, funding of PhD and postdoc positions has been provided by UiO

2013  The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, elected member

2012  The Medical Faculty equal opportunity award (University of Oslo

2011  Lundbeckfonden’s Visiting Professorship (University of Copenhagen)

2009  Centre for Molecular Biology and Neuroscience (CMBN) Career Development Award

2006  Professor Kristen Kjelsberg Osen Prize for Young Neuroscientists, University of Oslo


2003            Post-Doctoral stay (RCN personal postdoc grant) one year abroad at the Institute of Physiology, University of Lausanne, Switzerland, 2003.

2011-           Professor in Neurobiology of Aging (10% position) at the Center for Neuroscience and Center for Healthy Aging.


2004-2017: main supervisor of 12 undergraduate students, 1 forskerlinje, 10 PhD students and 9 postdocs. I have provided external grant money to all my PhD students and postdocs (except from Rinholm).

PhD students & The Medical Student Research Program student

  • Ilaria Tonazzini (PhD 2004-2007) Marie Curie student from University of Pisa, Italy; now researcher at Institute of Nanoscience CNR, NEST (National Enterprise for nanoScience and nanoTechnology), Pisa
  • Simen Gylterud Owe (PhD 2006-2008) now head of Ortomedic Company – expert confocal microscopy
  • Johanne Egge Rinholm (PhD 2004-2010) current Associate Professor Medical faculty, UiO, Oslo Norway.
  • Fredrik Lauritzen (PhD 2008-2012) now leader Antidoping Norway
  • Chang Cheng (PhD 2009-2012) now Associate Professor, Zhengzhou University, China
  • Tirill Medin (PhD 2008-2013) now Associate professor from 2016 at the Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences expert on ADHD
  • Christine Elisabeth Regnell (PhD 2009-2014) spesialist i DNA/RNA - ekstraksjon NGS- labben
  • Signe Holm Hansen (PhD 2012-2017) Center of Healthy Ageing, Medical Faculty, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Lauritz Kennedy ”The Medical Student Research Program” (2014- 2017) Medical Faculty, UiO,Oslo Norway
  • Elisabeth Holm Diget (PhD 2015-2019) Center of Healthy Ageing, Medical Faculty,  University of Copenhagen, Denmark 
  • Rupali Vohra (PhD 2015-2019) Medical Faculty, University of Copenhagen, Denmark 
  • Øyvind Pernell Haugen (PhD 2016-2020) delayed, IOB, Faculty of Dentistry, UiO Oslo, Norway
  • Krister Andersson (PhD 2014-2016) delayed  IMB, Faculty of Medicine, UiO, UiO, Oslo, Norway


  • Simen Gylterud Owe (2008-2009) see above
  • Max Larsson (2009-2010) now Researcher at Linkøping University, Sweeden
  • Fredrik Lauritzen (2012-2013) now leader Antidoping Norway
  • Knut Husø Lauritzen (2012-2015) current researcher Oslo University Hospital, Rikshospitalet
  • Maja Puchades (2011-2015); current researcher at Trygve Leergaard’s laboratory at the Medical Faculty, UiO
  • Johanne Egge Rinholm (2012-2015) now researcher at Magnar Bjørås’ laboratory, Oslo University Hospital Rikshospitalet; grant from Nasjonalforeningen on my research topic. Invited for an interview Accociate Professorship at the Medical Faculty, May 2017.
  • Tirill Medin (2013- 2016) see above
  • Liv Kleppa (2014-2016) 
  • Cecilie Morland (2012-2015) current Associate Professor, School of Pharmacy, UiO, from May 2017. Received ”Unge Forskertalenter” personal grant 2017-2020 from RCN on research topic HCAR1 


I have one year of formal pedagogic education and have since 1994 taught at all levels of Academia (medicine, dentistry, science) with lectures in cell biology, physiology, anatomy and neuroscience. Histology course, work physiology course. I am also a founding faculty member of the Norwegian Research School in Neuroscience.


2008, 2010, 2012: Organized the Kavli Prize Symposium in Neuroscience, Oslo and Bergen

2009 Scandinavian Physiological Society symposium, Upsala, Sweden

2009 Transatlantic Science Week symposium Minneapolis MN, USA

2010 Career for female scientists - how to get to the top? Lysebu, Oslo

2011 The Healthy Brain: Aging and Brain Disease (Oslo University Hospital)

2012 Dopamine Discovery Day (Oslo University Hospital)

2012 Fourth Genome Dynamics in Neuroscience meeting (GDN4), Oslo

2013 Compete & Collaborate - How to prepare for the future science 'labour-market', DNVA, Oslo

2014 11th International Brain Energy Metabolism meeting, Copenhagen

2010- Academy of Science and Letters annually meeting 10th of October: Nansen Neuroscience Lectures

2018 Leader of the organizing committee for Virginia-Nordic Precision Neuroscience meeting: From discovery to translation and innovation, Oslo


2017-2021   Dean of Research, Faculty of Dentistry (25% position), University of Oslo

2010-2014   Member of the Medical Faculty of UiO, Equal Opportunity Commission; Leader 2010-2011

2006-2009   Member of the Med Faculty of UiO, Grant and Trust Fund Committee

2007-2017   Member of 10 PhD committees, UiO and Norwegian University of Science and Technology

                   PhD Dissertation leader (Acting Dean) at the Medical and Dentistry Faculties, UiO

                   Member evaluation committees for positions at the Faculty of Medicine, Univ Copenhagen


2017-current     Dean of Research Faculty of Dentistry (25% position), University of Oslo, Norway

2015-current     Head of the Electron Microscopic Laboratory, Inst Oral Biology, UiO

2012-2016        Board member of the Nansen Neuroscience Network, Norway

2009-2016        Leader of the Synaptic Neurochemistry Lab, Dep of Anatomy, IMB, UiO

2004-current     Head of the Brain and Muscle Energy Group, UiO, Norway

2010-2014        Member of the Medical Faculty of UiO, Equal Opportunity Commission; Leader 2010-2011

2006-2009        Member of the Med Faculty of UiO, Grant and Trust Fund Committee

2003-current     Reviewer in leading journals, including Nature, Science, New Engl J Med, and J Neurosci


2013-current        Elected member of “The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters”


National collaboration

Magnar Bjørås, Oslo University Hospital Rikshospitalet/Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Arne Klungland, Oslo University Hospital Rikshospitalet

Ulrik Wisløff, Norwegian University of Science and Technology Trondheim


Jon Storm-Mathisen, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo

Håvard Attramadal, Oslo University Hospital Rikshospitalet

Cecilie Morland, School of Pharmacy, University of Oslo

Johanne Egge Rinholm, Oslo University Hospital Rikshospitalet

Koen Vervaeke, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo


Vidar Gundersen, Oslo University Hospital Rikshospitalet

Tor Paaske Utheim, Oslo University Hospital Ullevål

Tirill Medin, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences

International collaboration

  • David Attwell, University College London, UK
  • Tore Eid, Yale University, USA
  • Vilhelm Bohr, Natl Inst of Aging, Baltimore, USA
  • Stefan Offermanns, Max Planck Inst for Hearth and Lung research, Bad Neuheim, Germany
  • Andrea Volterra, Univ of Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Martin Lauritzen, Faculty of Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Lene Juul Rasmussen, Center of Healthy Aging, Faculty of Medicine, University Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Miriam Kolko, Faculty of Medicine,  University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Karl Deisseroth, Stanford University, USA
  • Amy Arnsten, Yale University, USA
  • Robert Zorec, Lubliana University, Slovenia
  • Morten Scheibye-Knudsen, Centre of Healthy Ageing, Faculty of Medicine
  • Knut Røed, Faculty of Societal Sciences, University of Oslo, Oslo Norway

Total publications 83. Total citations: 4118 Google Scholar

Top 10 publications last ten years as main author

(supervised PhDs and Postdocs in bold).

My h-index is 32 from Google Scholar.

1) Morland C, Andersson KA, Haugen ØP, Hadzic A, Kleppa L, Gille A, Rinholm JE, Palibrk V, Diget EH, Kennedy LH, Stølen T, Hennestad E, Moldestad O, Cai Y, Puchades M, Offermanns S, Vervaeke K, Bjørås M, Wisløff U, Storm-Mathisen J, Bergersen LH (2017) Exercise induces cerebral VEGF and angiogenesis via the lactate receptor HCAR1 Nat Commun doi: 10.1038/ncomms15557.[IF 11.3]

2) Lauritzen KH, Hasan-Olive MM,  Regnell CE, Liv Kleppa, Scheibye-Knudsen M,  Gjedde A, Klungland A, Bohr V, Storm-Mathisen J, Bergersen LH (2016) A ketogenic diet accelerates neurodegeneration in mice with induced mitochondrial DNA toxicity in the forebrain. Neurobiol Aging [IF 5.1 ] Cited 1 time

3) Gundersen V, Storm-Mathisen J, Bergersen LH (2015) Neuroglial Transmission. Physiol Rev 95(3):695-726. [IF 27.5 ] Cited 38 times

4) Lauritzen KH, Kleppa L, Aronsen JM, Eide L, Carlsen H, Haugen ØP, Sjaastad I, Klungland A, Rasmussen LJ, Attramadal H, Storm-Mathisen J, Bergersen LH (2015) Impaired dynamics and function of mitochondria caused by mtDNA toxicity leads to heart failure. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 309(3):H434-49. [IF 3.3 ] Cited 13 times

5) Bergersen LH (2015) Lactate transport and signaling in the brain: potential therapeutic targets and roles in body-brain interaction. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 35(2):176-185. [IF 5,4] Cited 36 times

6) Lauritzen KH, Morland C, Puchades M, Holm-Hansen S, Hagelin EM, Lauritzen F, Attramadal H,  Storm-Mathisen J,  Gjedde A, Bergersen LH (2014) Lactate receptor sites link neurotransmission, neurovascular coupling, and  brain energy metabolism. Cereb Cortex 24(10):2784-2795 (accepted 15 April 2013) [IF 8.7]   Cited 77 times

7) Regnell CE, Hildrestrand GA, Sejersted Y, Medin T, Moldestad O, Rolseth V, Krokeide SZ, Suganthan R, Luna L, Bjørås M, Bergersen LH (2012) Hippocampal adult neurogenesis is maintained by Neil3-dependent repair of oxidative DNA lesions in neural progenitor cells. Cell Rep 2:503-510. [IF 8.4]   Cited 39 times

8) Lauritzen KH, Moldestad O, Eide L, Carlsen H, Nesse G, Storm JF, Mansuy IM, Bergersen LH*, Klungland A* (2010) Mitochondrial DNA toxicity in forebrain neurons causes apoptosis, neurodegeneration, and impaired behavior. Mol Cell Biol 30:1357-1367. [IF 6.2]  *Correspondence, equal contribution. [IF 6.2]  Cited 43 times

9) Rinholm JE, Hamilton NB, Kessaris N, Richardson WD, Bergersen LH*, Attwell D* (2011) Regulation of oligodendrocyte development and myelination by glucose and lactate. J Neurosci 31:538-548. *Correspondence, equal contribution.  [IF 5.9] Cited 115 times.

10) Jourdain P*, Bergersen LH*, Bhaukaurally K, Bezzi P, Domercq M, Matute C, Tonello F, Gundersen V, Volterra A (2007) Glutamate exocytosis from astrocytes control synaptic strength. Nat Neurosci 10(3):331-339.  [IF 14.2] * These authors contributed equally. Cited 541 times 



I have been invited to speak at the most recognized conferences in the field (including Society for Neuroscience, FENS Forum, Internat Society for Neurochemistry, American Society for Neurochemistry, Internat Brain Research Organization, Internat Meeting in Brain Energy Metabolism), and at prestigious universities (e.g. Yale University, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Uppsala University, Karolinska Institute). Latest on the topic of a novel lactate receptor in the brain: 2015 International Society for Neurochemistry, Cairns, Australia; 2015 European Glia Meeting Bilbao, Spain; 2016 American Society for Neurochemistry, Denver CO, USA; 2016 FENS Forum, Copenhagen, Denmark; 2017 Exercise is Medicine, ACSM symposium: Neurobiological Effects of Physical Exercise, Denver CO, USA


  • Cecilie Morland (previous postdoc). Just appointed Associate Professor School of Pharmacy (May 2017), personal young investigator grant from RCN 2017-2020.
  • Johanne Egge Rinholm (previous Master/PhD student/postdoc, I promoted her doctoral and postdoctoral training at University College London and Janelia Farm, USA). Invited for an interview May 2017 for a position as Associate Professor in Neuroscience at the IMB, Faculty of Medicine, UiO. Now researcher in the M Bjørås lab at OUS, Rikshospitalet on grant money from Nasjonalforeningen.
  • Tirill Medin (previous PhD and Postdoc in my group). Now Associate Professor Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, December 2016.

LEADERSHIP IN RESEARCH                                                                                        

From 2004-2013 I was the leader of the Brain and Muscle Energy Group at the SN-Lab, IMB, UiO, where I organized meeting every Friday and team building events twice a year for all the members of SN-Lab. From 2013 I moved the group to the IOB, continuing weekly lab meetings and arranging Lactate Discovery Day twice a year. From 2015 I hold the position as Head of the Electron Microscopic Laboratory at the IOB where I lead a staff of 4 engineers and at present I am main supervisor of 3 PhD students and 1 postdoc. From 2011-2018 I am Leader of the Bergersen group at the Center of Healthy Aging (CEHA) (, where I supervise 2 PhD students, one recently submitted her thesis. The Site Visit Committee for CEHA (report 12th February 2017) advised that a continued collaboration between CEHA and the Bergersen group (in Oslo) will strengthen the work on the biological basis of brain health considerably. From January 2017 I have been appointed Dean of Research at the Faculty of Dentistry, UiO (25% position). To further facilitate international cooperation in the Nordic countries, I have taken the initiative (Project Leader) to apply to the NordForsk call ‘New instrument for Nordic University Cooperation - Nordic University Hubs’ (duration 2018-2023): #86656 Nordic Hub of Brain and Cognitive Aging (NHBCA) comprising partners from Oslo/Trondheim, Göteborg, and Copenhagen, with the intention of including Finland and Iceland during the course of the project.

Courses taught

  • Medical curriculum, 4th Semester, Locomotion, Anatomy (in Norwegian only)
  • MBV4340 - Advanced neurobiology
  • MBV9340 - Advanced neurobiology

Other webpages


Tags: Brain and nervous system, Signal transmission in the nervous system, Brain metabolism, Physical activity and brain function
Published June 24, 2013 11:16 AM - Last modified Feb. 22, 2021 7:23 PM