Genetic variability in forced and voluntary endurance exercise performance in seven inbred mouse strains

Imanuel Lerman, Brooke C. Harrison, Kalev Freeman, Timothy E. Hewett, David L. Allen, Jeffrey Robbins, Leslie A. Leinwand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

200 Scopus citations


The goal of this study was to characterize the genetic contribution to both forced and voluntary exercise performance and to determine whether performance in these two paradigms is controlled by similar genetic influences. There were marked strain differences in treadmill exercise performance, with Swiss Webster (SW) and FVB/NJ mice showing elevated performance and C57BL/6J animals showing decreased performance compared with all other strains. There was no apparent relationship between treadmill performance and voluntary wheel performance, with the exception of SW mice, which demonstrated high performances on both the treadmill and the voluntary wheel. Numerous properties were measured to attempt to understand the basis for these differences in exercise performance. DBA/1J and SW mice exhibited significantly greater cardiac contractility than all other analyzed strains. Conversely, BALB/cByJ mice exhibited significantly reduced cardiac contractility compared with all other strains. Expression of molecular indicators of hypertrophy (atrial natriuretic factor and β-myosin heavy chain) was significantly elevated in DBA/2J myocardium compared with all other analyzed strains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2245-2255
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2002


  • Heredity
  • Treadmill
  • Wheel running

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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