Zoology Faculty Work


Prevention of Tumorigenesis in Mice by Exercise is Dependent on Strain Background and Timing Relative to Carcinogen Exposure

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Scientific Reports

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Among cancer diagnoses, colorectal cancer (CRC) is prevalent, with a lifetime risk of developing CRC being approximately 5%. Population variation surrounding the mean risk of developing CRCs has been associated with both inter-individual differences in genomic architecture and environmental exposures. Decreased risk of CRC has been associated with physical activity, but protective responses are variable. Here, we utilized a series of experiments to examine the effects of genetic background (strain), voluntary exercise (wheel running), and their interaction on azoxymethane (AOM)-induced intestinal tumor number and size in mice. Additionally, we investigated how the timing of exercise relative to AOM exposure, and amount of exercise, affected tumor number and size. Our results indicated that voluntary exercise significantly reduced tumor number in a strain dependent manner. Additionally, among strains where exercise reduced tumor number (A/J, CC0001/Unc) the timing of voluntary exercise relative to AOM exposure was crucial. Voluntary exercise prior to or during AOM treatment resulted in a significant reduction in tumor number, but exercise following AOM exposure had no effect. The results indicate that voluntary exercise should be used as a preventative measure to reduce risk for environmentally induced CRC with the realization that the extent of protection may depend on genetic background.



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