Long-term voluntary exercise, representing habitual exercise, lowers visceral fat and alters plasma amino acid levels in mice.
ABSTRACT To determine the impact of long-term voluntary exercise, representing habitual exercise for the prevention of lifestyle-related diseases, on glucose, lipid, and amino acid metabolism in mice.
Twenty-four mice aged 6 weeks were divided into three groups. Two groups (16 mice) were housed individually in either cages equipped with a running wheel (8 mice, exercising, Ex-mice) or without (8 mice, sedentary, Se-mice) for 24 weeks. The remaining group (8 mice) was sacrificed at 6 weeks of age. Biomarkers related to glucose, lipid, and amino acid metabolism were examined.
Ex-mice ran voluntarily, predominantly in the dark. The distance per day peaked at 4 weeks and then decreased until 12 weeks to around the level seen at the beginning of the experimental period, and was maintained at 4.9 ± 0.2 km/day from 12 to 24 weeks. Ex-mice showed a similar adrenal weight and vitamin C content to Se-mice but had a significantly lower body weight and higher food intake. Ex-mice also showed a higher skeletal muscle weight, a lower white adipose tissue and liver weight, associated with lower plasma leptin and insulin-like growth factor-1 levels, and a lower hepatic triglyceride content. Analysis of plasma amino acids showed that Ex-mice had significantly higher phenylalanine, tyrosine, and glutamine levels, resulting in a significantly lower Fischer's ratio.
We present an animal model of long-term voluntary exercise under low stress. Findings related to the effects of long-term voluntary exercise on lipid, and amino acid metabolism in our mouse model indicate that such an exercise regimen may affect pathophysiological states related to appetite and behavior.