Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

The Effect of Growth Restriction on Voluntary Physical Activity Engagement in Mice


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: November 2019 - Volume 51 - Issue 11 - p 2201–2209
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000002040

Introduction The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of growth restriction on the biological regulation of physical activity.

Methods Using a cross-fostering, protein-restricted nutritive model, mice were growth-restricted during either gestation (GUN; N = 3 litters) or postnatal life (PUN; N = 3 litters). At 21 d of age, all mice pups were weaned and fed a nonrestrictive healthy diet for the remainder of the study. At 45 d of age, mice were individually housed in cages with free moving running wheels to assess physical activity engagement. At day 70, mice were euthanized, and the nucleus accumbens was analyzed for dopamine receptor 1 expression. Skeletal muscle fiber type and cross-sectional area of the soleus, extensor digitorom longus, and diaphragm were analyzed by immunohistochemistry. The soleus from the other hindleg was evaluated for calsequestrin 1 and annexin A6 expression.

Results The PUN female mice (15,365 ± 8844 revolutions per day) had a reduction (P = 0.0221) in wheel revolutions per day as compared with the GUN (38,667 ± 8648 revolutions per day) and CON females (36,421.0 ± 6700 revolutions per day). The PUN female mice also expressed significantly higher dopamine receptor 1 compared (P = 0.0247) to the other groups. The PUN female soleus had a higher expression of calsequestrin 1, along with more type IIb fibers (P = 0.0398).

Conclusions Growth restriction during lactation reduced physical activity in female mice by reducing the central drive to be active and displayed a more fatigable skeletal muscle phenotype.

Department of Kinesiology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Address for correspondence: David P. Ferguson, Ph.D., Room 27S, 308 W. Circle Dr., East Lansing, MI 48824; E-mail:

Submitted for publication December 2018.

Accepted for publication May 2019.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal’s Web site (

Online date: May 17, 2019

© 2019 American College of Sports Medicine