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Res Commun Mol Pathol Pharmacol. 2002;111(1-4):89-101.

The monosodium glutamate (MSG) obese rat as a model for the study of exercise in obesity.

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  • 1Departamento de Educação Fisica, I.B., Universidade Estadual Paulista-UNESP, Rio Claro, Avenida 24-A, 1515, Rio Claro, São Paulo, Brasil, CEP: 13506-900.


Obesity is an increasing problem in several countries, leading to health problems. Physical exercise, in turn, can be used effectively by itself or in combination with dietary restriction to trigger weight loss. The present study was designed to evaluate the effects of aerobic exercise training on lipid profile of obese male Wistar rats in order to verify if this model may be of value for the study of exercise in obesity. Obesity was induced by MSG administration (4 mg/g, each other day, from birth to 14 days old) After 14 from drug administration, the rats were separated into two groups: MSG-S (sedentary) and MSG-T (exercise trained). Exercise training consisted in 1 h/day, 5 days/week, with an overload of 5% bw, for 10 weeks. Rats of the same age and strain, receiving saline at birth, were used as control (C), and subdivided into two groups: C-S and C-T. At the end of the experimental period, MSG-T and C-T rats showed similar blood lactate and muscle glycogen responses to exercise training and acute exercise. MSG-S rats showed significantly higher carcass fat, serum triacylglycerol, serum insulin and liver total fat than C-S rats. On the other hand, MSG-T rats had lower carcass fat, serum triacylglycerol and liver total fat than MSG-S rats. There were no statistical differences in food intake and serum free fatty acids among the groups studied. These data indicate that this model may be of value for the study of exercise effects on tissue and circulating lipid profile in obesity.

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