Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Exercise eases arthritis in obese mice even without weight loss

Adding another incentive to exercise, scientists at Duke University Medical Center have found that physical activity improves arthritis symptoms even among obese mice that continue to chow down on a high-fat diet.

The insight suggests that excess weight alone isn't what causes the aches and pains of osteoarthritis, despite the long-held notion that carrying extra pounds strains the joints and leads to the inflammatory condition.

Published Sept. 27 online in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism, the findings are now being tested in people.

"What's surprising is that exercise, without substantial weight loss, can be beneficial to the joints," said Farshid Guilak, Ph.D., professor of orthopaedic surgery at Duke and senior author of the study. "Ideally, it would be best to be fit and lose a little weight, but this shows that exercise alone can improve the health of your joints."

Even modest improvements could have a major impact if the findings are borne out in people. The Arthritis Foundation reports that one in five adults in the United States have been diagnosed with arthritis, and the annual cost of treating it and other rheumatic conditions has been tabbed at $128 billion.

Many cases of arthritis are associated with obesity and inactivity, so the Duke researchers set out to determine whether a high fat diet induces knee osteoarthritis, and then whether exercise provides a protective effect.

Using two sets of male mice – half fed a high-fat diet and the other fed regular chow – the researchers noted significant differences among the two groups. The mice on the high-fat food gained weight rapidly, processed glucose poorly and had much higher blood levels of molecules that trigger the chronic inflammation associated with osteoarthritis.

But when these animals got regular running wheel workouts, many of the harmful effects diminished – even though the mice ate the same high-fat food and shed no weight. Glucose tolerance improved, while the inflammatory response was disrupted among key signaling molecules called cytokines, easing the development of arthritis.

If the extra weight on the joints had been the cause of the arthritis, the researchers noted, exercise would have exacerbated the problem. Instead, it helped.

"We're trying to understand the interaction of physical activity and obesity," said Timothy M. Griffin, Ph.D., lead author of the study. Griffin was formerly at Duke and is now at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. "Even though there was the same amount of body fat, the fat was different."

Griffin said the fat cells still produced inflammatory molecules associated with arthritis, but they lost their punch because they could not organize into a force: "I don't want to say exercise is turning off that inflammatory signal, it just impairs it."

The findings add to a growing body of research exploring fitness vs. fatness. Ongoing studies at Duke and elsewhere are examining the role of diet, exercise and inflammatory diseases.

"This shows that if you are obese, it's better to exercise," Guilak said. "Sometimes pain can be a barrier to starting exercise, but if you overcome it, in the long term, it's better."

In addition to Guilak and Griffin, study authors included Janet L. Huebner, Virginia B. Kraus, and Zhen Yan.

The study was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and from the Arthritis Foundation. The authors reported no financial conflicts of interest.

Sarah Avery | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

nachricht New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>