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Comp Med. 2012 Feb;62(1):21-6.

Effects of exercise on weight loss and monocytes in obese mice.

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Laboratory of Integrated Physiology, Department of Health and Human Performance, University of Houston, Houston, Texas, USA.


Obesity causes innate immune dysfunction, contributing to increased disease risk. Weight loss from a combination of caloric restriction and exercise is the most effective treatment of obesity. We compared forced and voluntary exercise as weight-loss treatments in diet-induced obese (DIO) mice and assessed the effects of weight loss on monocyte concentration and cell-surface expression of Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2, TLR4, CD80, and CD86. DIO CD1 male mice were allocated randomly to 1 of 3 groups (n = 6 per group): voluntary wheel running (VEX); forced treadmill running (FEX); and sedentary (S). A fourth (control) group (CN, n = 6) of nonDIO mice was included also. During the 8-wk weight-loss treatment, all 4 groups consumed a low-fat (10% fat) diet. Nonlethal saphenous vein blood samples collected at baseline, week 4, and week 8 were analyzed by flow cytometry to assess monocyte concentration and functional receptor expression. The VEX and FEX groups lost significantly more body weight (36% and 27%, respectively) over the 8 wk of treatment than did other groups. VEX mice ran 4.4 times more than did FEX animals. VEX mice had higher monocyte concentrations (48% and 58%, respectively) than did the CN and FEX groups. Compared with baseline, week 8 cell-surface expression of TLR2 (22%), TLR4 (33%), and CD86 (18%) was increased in VEX mice. At week 4, CD80 expression was 42% greater for VEX than S mice. The present study confirms that short-term exercise and low-fat diet consumption cause significant weight loss and altered immune profiles.

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