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Open Access Effect of Access to a Running Wheel on Behavior of C57BL/6J Mice

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Background and purpose: To evaluate how and when mice run on a running wheel and how ad libitum access to the wheel affect behavior, feed intake, and weight gain.

Methods: Seventeen 2-month-old C57BL/6J mice had access to the wheel, whereas 19 control mice did not. After 3 to 6.5 weeks, behavior was video-recorded over 24 h for each mouse.

Results: Experimental mice ran an average 2 km/24 h in 114 min. Highest running activity took place at the onset of darkness. Experimental mice spent 22 min more feeding on the cage floor than did control mice. These times were deducted from those for all other behaviors: 74 min from resting time, 39 min from climbing and feeding on the cage lid, 14 min from locomotion on the cage floor, and 10 min from grooming. In relative figures, deduction from sleeping time was only 9%, whereas climbing time was halved.

Conclusions: Climbing on the cage lid has a similar circadian rhythm as does wheel running and highenergy expenditure. Because experimental mice climbed less, their weight gain and feed intake were similar to those of control mice. Thus, wheel running can substitute for other forms of energy-consuming behaviors and vice versa.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Applied Zoology and Veterinary Medicine, University of Kuopio, Finland 2: Department of Anatomy, University of Kuopio, Finland 3: The National Laboratory Animal Center, University of Kuopio, Finland

Publication date: 1999-08-01

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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