Glucocorticoid response to forced exercise in laboratory house mice (Mus domesticus)

Physiol Behav. 1998 Jan;63(2):279-85. doi: 10.1016/s0031-9384(97)00441-1.


We examined the time course and sex differences of the glucocorticoid response to forced, moderate-intensity treadmill exercise in outbred laboratory house mice. Mice (n = 64 total) were divided into eight groups, each of four males and four females, which were run on a motorized treadmill at 1.0 km/h for either 0, 2, 5, 10, 15, 25, 40, or 60 min. Serum samples were taken immediately after exercise and corticosterone (CORT) concentration was determined by radioimmunoassay. Resting CORT levels ranged between 11.6 and 29.5 ng/mL for both sexes. CORT levels increased with length of exercise and then exhibited a plateau by 25 min in females and by 40 min in males. Females displayed a significantly more rapid increase in serum CORT levels and attained higher maximal CORT levels than males. Females also had significantly larger adrenal glands, both in absolute terms and relative to body mass.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Glands / anatomy & histology
  • Animals
  • Corticosterone / blood*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Organ Size
  • Physical Conditioning, Animal / physiology*
  • Sex Factors
  • Time Factors


  • Corticosterone