The effects of voluntary running exercise on health indexes in rats were studied before and after Sheep Red Blood Cell (SRBC)-induced inflammation. Male Fischer rats (SPF) 8 weeks of age were housed in individual sedentary cages (sedentary group) or in individual wheel-running cages (exercise group) for 4 months. Then all rats were injected with 20% SRBC (0.5ml/100g body weight) i.p. Voluntary running activity averaged 1408m/day, reached a peak (2913m/day) at the 25th day and waned over time, reaching a plateau at the 60th day (about 1000m/day). In spite of a significant increase in food intake (117%), exercising rats gained significantly less weight (93%) than sedentary rats at all times in experimental period. The exercise group also showed a significant decrease in the value of serum triglyceride (TG) and total cholesterol (T. CHO) (TG p<0.0002, T. CHO p<0.03). The hematocrit (Ht) and hemoglobin concentration (Hb) were higher in the exercised rats, and at 4 days after i.p. SRBC, the difference became statistically significant (Ht p<0.0002, Hb p<0.003). Thus, protective effects against the decrease of Ht and Hb were demonstrated in the exercised group. Perhaps this inflammation did not impair liver function severely; sedentary rats had normal or slightly higher levels of GOT and GPT. On the other hand, exercised rats had lower GOT and GPT. Significant differences were found between the groups (GOT, GPT p<0.0001).
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