Effects of swimming on dystrophic Syrian hamster heart

Exp Pathol (Jena). 1975;11(5-6):247-54. doi: 10.1016/s0014-4908(75)80083-4.


Morphological and histopathological heart changes were determined for sixteen dystrophic Syrian hamsters (B10 14.6 strain) and sixteen normal hamsters. Eight animals were randomly assigned to each of the following groups: dystrophic swim (DYS-SWM), dystrophic sedentary (DSY-SED), normal swim (NOR-SWM), and normal sedentary (NOR-SED). The daily swimming program consisted of an initial 30-minute swim which was gradually extended to 60 minutes by the end of eight weeks. Weights up to 3% body weight were attached during swimming to increase the work load. Sedentary animals received no experimental treatment. Four animals in each group were sacrificed at 4 and 8 weeks after the initiation of treatments. In comparison with the two groups of sedentary animals, the NOR-SWM group had a greater heart weight/body weight ratio at both 4 and 8 weeks (P less than .05), while the DYS-SWM group had an increased ratio only at 8 weeks (P less than .05). Subjective histopathological evaluation of heart lesions showed that the DYS-SED group had many large areas of inflammatory reaction with infrequent diffuse areas of calcification. In contrast, the DYS-SWM group had fewer and smaller areas of inflammatory reaction with moderate amounts of calcification.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cricetinae
  • Heart / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Animal / physiopathology*
  • Myocardium / pathology
  • Necrosis
  • Physical Exertion
  • Swimming*