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J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci. 2009 May;48(3):258-62.

Revisiting influences on tumor development focusing on laboratory housing.

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  • 1Department of Kinesiology and Health, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, USA. alessih@muohio.edu


Spontaneous tumors are reported to occur in 45% to 71% of Sprague-Dawley rats, yet few studies have considered the effect of the sedentary condition of standard laboratory cages on tumorigenesis. Tumor profiles and tumor promoting hormone prolactin were compared in female Sprague-Dawley rats (108) that were allocated into 3 groups: those housed without outside activity (SED group), with twice-weekly 1-h sessions of physical activity in large box (PA group), and with regular voluntary running-wheel exercise (EX). Compared with the EX group, SED rats had more and larger tumors throughout most of their lifespan; tumor profiles of PA rats were similar to those of the SED group. A larger percentage of animals in the SED group had tumors (54%), compared with EX rats (38%). At 64 wk, tumors in SED animals included thyroid carcinoma, malignancy, mammary fibroadenoma, cystadenoma, and granuloma, whereas benign mammary gland cysts were most common in EX. Prolactin levels were highest in SED animals at 24 and 52 wk. In conclusion, increased tumor number, increased tumor size, type of spontaneous tumor, and increased prolactin in rats were associated with standard laboratory housing, which limited physical activity, and were not primarily due to aging.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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