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Moderate Exercise Increases Survival in Adult Mice Following Influenza Virus Infection: 696 9:50 AM-10:05 AM

Lowder, Thomas; Woods, Jeffrey A. FACSM; Padgett, David

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2005 - Volume 37 - Issue 5 - p S133
C-03: Featured Science Session – The Psychoneuroimmunology of Exercise: THURSDAY, JUNE 2, 2005 9:00 AM-12:00 PM: ROOM: Delta Ballroom C

University of Illinois at Urbana, Urbana, IL, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

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We wanted to determine if moderate exercise increased survival following influenza infection.

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Male Balb/cByJ mice were randomly assigned to exercise (EX) or home cage control (HCC) groups. 40HAU of influenza virus (50uL of A/Puerto Rico/8/34 strain) was administered intranasally to lightly anesthetized mice. Mice were infected 3–4 hr into their dark cycle and exercised on a motorized treadmill for 20–30min at 8–12 meters/min, −4hr post-infection for 4 consecutive days. Survival, body weight, food and water intake, activity level, appearance, and response to prodding were recorded daily.

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Adult (5–7mo) EX mice had significantly (P=0.008) higher survival rates (18 of 22) vs. HCC of the same age (10 of 22). Young (<14wk) mice did not show a significantly higher survival rate following exercise (P=0.059). When comparing all EX (n=47) vs. all HCC (n=48), EX had twice the survival rate (28 of 47, 59%) vs. HCC (14 of 48, 29.4%) (P=0.003). None of the variables (food/water intake, activity, sickness scores) proved to be reliable at predicting mortality. Mice showed decreased activity and response to prodding 4–5d post-infection, with increased appearance scores 2–3 days post-infection. Severe lethargy was usually evident 1–2d prior to death.

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Our work has shown that moderate exercise for 4 consecutive days post-infection significantly increased survivability to influenza infection.

©2005The American College of Sports Medicine