Voluntary wheel running ameliorates vascular smooth muscle hyper-contractility in type 2 diabetic db/db mice

Karyn A. Esser, Wen Su, Sergey Matveev, Vicki Wong, Li Zeng, John J. McCarthy, Eric J. Smart, Zhenheng Guo, Ming C. Gong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Physical activity reduces cardiovascular disease related mortality in diabetic patients. However, it is unknown if the diabetic state reduces voluntary physical activity and, if so, if the voluntary physical activity at the reduced level is sufficient to improve cardiovascular risk factors. To address these two specific questions, we investigated voluntary wheel running performance in an obese and type 2 diabetic mouse model, the db/db mice. In addition, we determined the effects of running on body mass, blood glucose, insulin, plasma free fatty acids, cholesterol, and vascular smooth muscle hypercontractility. Our results showed that daily running distance, time, and speed were significantly reduced in the db/db mice to about 23%, 32%, and 71%, respectively, of that in non-diabetic control mice. However, this low level of running was sufficient to induce a reduction in the vascular smooth muscle hyper-contractility, cholesterol, and some plasma free fatty acids, as well as to delay the decrease in blood insulin. These changes occurred in the absence of weight loss and a detectable decrease in blood glucose. Thus, the results of this study demonstrated that voluntary wheel running activity was dramatically reduced in db/db mice. However, the low levels of running were beneficial, in the absence of effects on obesity or blood glucose, with significant reductions in cardiovascular risk factors and potential delays in β-cell dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)711-720
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2007


  • Cardiovascular
  • Diabetes
  • Exercise
  • Free fatty acid
  • Obesity
  • Vascular reactivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Physiology (medical)


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