63.5 Friday, Jan. 6 Effects of early-onset voluntary exercise on adult physical activity in mice selectively bred for high voluntary wheel running ACOSTA, Wendy*; MEEK, Tom H.; SCHUTZ, Heidi; DLUGOSZ, Elizabeth M.; VU, Kim T.; GARLAND, Theodore Jr.; Univ. of California, Riverside; Univ. of California, Riverside; Univ. of California, Riverside; Univ. of California, Riverside; Univ. of California, Riverside; Univ. of California, Riverside firstname.lastname@example.org
Decreased physical activity is thought to be one factor contributing to the increase in both childhood and adult obesity, which are associated with numerous adverse health consequences. Moreover, recent budget cuts threaten physical education programs in K-12 schools. Longitudinal studies of humans indicate that high childhood physical activity increases the probability of adults being physically active (Telama et al 2005 Am J Prev Med). Although rodents are commonly used as models to study the biology of physical activity (Garland et al. 2011 J Exp Biol), the effects of early-age exercise on adult propensity to exercise have not been investigated. We used mice from lines that have been selectively bred for high voluntary running on wheels (1.12 m circum.) attached to standard cages (Swallow et al. 1998 Behav Genet), termed high runner (HR) lines, and their non-selected control (C) lines to investigate whether early exposure to a wheel affects activity levels as adults. Half of the mice were given wheel access shortly after weaning for 21 consecutive days. Wheel access was then removed for 54 days, followed by 16 days of access for all mice. Early-life wheel access significantly increased voluntary exercise on wheels during the first week of the second period of wheel access for all mice, with the effect tending to be greater in HR than in C. During this same time period, spontaneous physical activity inside the home cages was not affected by early-age wheel access, and did not differ between HR and C mice. These results support the hypothesis that early-age exercise can have beneficial effects on adult levels of voluntary exercise, and have implications for public policy. Supported by NSF grant IOS-1121273 to TG.