The interaction of a high-fat diet and regular moderate intensity exercise on intestinal polyp development in Apc Min/+ mice

Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2009 Jul;2(7):641-9. doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-09-0017. Epub 2009 Jun 23.


Diet and exercise are two environmental factors that can alter colon cancer risk. The purpose of this study was to determine if regular moderate-intensity treadmill exercise training could attenuate polyp formation in Apc(Min/+) mice fed the Western-style diet. Four-week-old male Apc(Min/+) mice (n = 12 per group) were assigned to AIN-76A Control, AIN-76A Exercise, Western Control, or Western Exercise treatment groups. Mice were weaned to these diets and either subjected to regular moderate-intensity treadmill exercise (18 m/min, 60 min/d, 6 d/wk) or remained sedentary for 6 weeks. Mice fed the Western-style diet consumed approximately 14% more calories and had 42% more epididymal fat compared with mice fed the AIN-76A diet. Exercise had no effect on fat pad mass with either diet treatment. Exercise reduced total intestinal polyp number by 50% and the number of large polyps (>1 mm diameter) by 67% in AIN-76A-fed mice. The Western-style diet increased polyp number by 75% when compared with AIN-76A-fed mice, but exercise did not decrease polyp number or alter polyp size in mice fed the Western-style diet. Markers of systemic inflammation and immune system function were improved with exercise in mice fed the AIN-76A diet. Mice fed the Western-style diet showed more inflammation and immunosuppression, which were not completely ameliorated by exercise. These data suggest that the induction of adiposity, inflammation, and immunosuppression by the Western-style diet may compromise the beneficial effect of moderate-intensity exercise on the intestinal polyp burden in Apc(Min/+) mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Weight
  • Colonic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Immunosuppression Therapy
  • Inflammation
  • Intestinal Polyps / pathology*
  • Intestinal Polyps / prevention & control
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Physical Conditioning, Animal
  • Polyps