Effect of exercise on development of atherosclerosis in swine

  • R.P. Link
    Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, and Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station, Urbana, Ill. U.S.A.
    Search for articles by this author
  • W.M. Pedersoli
    Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, and Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station, Urbana, Ill. U.S.A.
    Search for articles by this author
  • A.H. Safanie
    Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, and Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station, Urbana, Ill. U.S.A.
    Search for articles by this author
      This paper is only available as a PDF. To read, Please Download here.


      Two groups of female and 2 groups of male miniature pigs (11 per group) were used to study the effect of exercise on the development of atherosclerosis. The pigs were maintained on a diet low in cholesterol and fat until 16 months of age at which time this study was initiated. One pig was randomly selected from each group and necropsied immediately before the study was initiated. The cardiovascular systems were examined for atherosclerosis. None was found.
      One group of each sex was trained and conditioned for sustained exercise on a treadmill. When the animals were reasonably well conditioned after 3 weeks of exercise all groups were fed an atherogenic diet. The trial was of 22 months duration.
      Feeding the atherogenic ration increased the blood lipids in all groups. However, the differences in the serum cholesterol, triglycerides, total lipids and plasma fibrinogen between the groups of each sex were not significant. Differences between males and females were significant. There were significant differences in the extent of atherosclerosis between the exercised and the non-exercised pigs. Weight of the hearts in relation to body weight was slightly greater in the exercised than in the non-exercised pigs but the differences were not significant. This may have been due partly to the greater amount of fat on hearts from non-exercised pigs. Coronary arteries were also slightly larger in the non-exercised pigs. The exercised pigs consumed more of the diet, gained less weight, had less atherosclerosis, and less total body fat than the non-exercised pigs.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Atherosclerosis
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Moses G.
        Atherosclerosis: Mechanisms as a Guide to Protection.
        Lea and Febiger, Philadelphia, Pa1963
        • McAllister F.F.
        • Bertsch R.
        • Jacobson J.
        • D'Alessio G.
        Accelerating effect of muscular exercise on experimental atherosclerosis.
        Arch. Surg. 1960; 80: 54
        • Tepperman J.
        • Perlman D.
        Effect of exercise and anemia on coronary arteries of small animals as revealed by corrosion-cast technique.
        Circ. Res. 1961; 9: 579
        • Brown C.E.
        • Huang T.C.
        • Bortz E.L.
        • McCay C.M.
        Effect of exercise on atheromatous development in blood vessels of rabbits on high and low cholesterol diets.
        J. Gerontol. 1956; 11: 292
        • Brainard J.B.
        Effect of prolonged exercise on atherogenesis in rabbits.
        in: Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med.100. 1959: 244
        • Myasnikov A.L.
        Influence of some factors on development of experimental cholesterol atherosclerosis.
        Circulation. 1958; 17: 99
        • Kobernick S.D.
        • Hashimoto T.
        Histochemistry of atherosclerosis, Part 1 (Induced lesions of the aorta of cholesterol-fed, exercised and sedentary rabbits).
        Lab. Invest. 1963; 12: 685
        • Kobernick S.D.
        • Niwayama G.
        Physical activity in experimental cholesterol atherosclerosis of rabbits.
        Amer. J. Pathol. 1960; 36: 393
        • Prior J.T.
        • Ziegler D.D.
        Regression of experimental atherosclerosis. Observations in the rabbit.
        Arch. Pathol. 1965; 80: 50
        • Wolffe J.B.
        • Digilo V.A.
        • Dale A.D.
        • McGinnis G.E.
        • Donnelly J.D.
        • Plungian M.B.
        • Sprowls J.
        • James F.
        • Einhorn C.
        • Werkheiser G.
        Experlmental atheromatosis and atherohepatosis in ducks and geese; its reversibility and its clinical applications.
        Amer. Heart J. 1949; 38: 467
        • Wolffe J.B.
        • Hyman A.S.
        • Plungian M.B.
        • Dale A.D.
        • McGinnis G.F.
        • Walkow M.B.
        Studies in experimental atheromatosis; atheromatosis in hepato-atherosis in geese. Possible reversibility and clinical implications.
        J. Gerontol. 1952; 7: 13
        • Weiss H.S.
        • Brown F.D.
        • Griminger P.
        • Fisher H.
        Physical activity and atherosclerosis in the adult chicken.
        J. Atheroscler. Res. 1966; 6: 407
        • Clarkson T.B.
        • Prichard R.W.
        • Netsky M.G.
        • Lofland H.B.
        Atherosclerosis in Pigeons.
        Arch. Pathol. 1959; 68: 143
        • Lofland H.B.
        • Clarkson T.B.
        A biochemical study- of spontaneous atherosclerosis in pigeons.
        Circ. Res. 1959; 7: 234
        • Morris J.N.
        • Heady J.A.
        • Raffle P.A.B.
        • Roberts C.G.
        • Parks J.W.
        Coronary heart disease and physical activity of work.
        Lancet. 1953; 2: 1053
        • Mann G.V.
        • Teal K.
        • Hayes O.
        • McNally A.
        • Bruno W.
        Exercise in the disposition of dietary calories.
        New Engl. J. Med. 1955; 253: 349
        • Spain D.M.
        • Bradess V.A.
        Sudden death from coronary atherosclerosis. Age, race, sex, physical activity and alcohol.
        Arch. Intern. Med. 1957; 100: 228
        • Iatridis S.G.
        • Ferguson J.H.
        Effect of physical exercise on blood clotting and fibrinolysis.
        J. Appl. Physiol. 1963; 18: 337
        • Skold B.H.
        • Getty R.
        • Ramsey F.K.
        Spontaneous atherosclerosis in the arterial system of aging swine.
        Amer. J. Vet. Res. 1966; 27: 257
        • Reiser R.
        • Sorrels H.F.
        • Williams M.C.
        Influence of high levels of dietary fats and cholesterol on atherosclerosis and lipid distribution in swine.
        Circ. Res. 1959; 3: 833
        • Roberts J.C.
        • Straus R.
        Comparative Atherosclerosis.
        Hoeber Medical Division, Harper and Row, New York, N.Y1965
        • Sperry W.M.
        • Webb M.
        A revision of the Schoenheimer-Sperry method for cholesterol determination.
        J. Biol. Chem. 1950; 187: 97
        • Quicx A.J.
        Hemorrhagic Diseases.
        Lea and Febiger, Philadelphia, Pa1957
        • Sperry W.M.
        • Brand F.C.
        The determination of total lipids in blood serum.
        J. Biol. Chem. 1955; 213: 69
        • Van Handel E.
        Suggested modifications of the micro determination of triglycerides.
        Clin. Chem. 1961; 7: 249
        • Smith G.S.
        • Lohman T.G.
        • Twardock A.R.
        • Breidenstein B.C.
        Illasco, a whole body counter.
        Illinois Res. 1965; 7: 6
        • Holman R.L.
        • McGill H.C.
        • Strong J.P.
        • Geer J.C.
        Technics for studying atherosclerotic lesions.
        Lab. Invest. 1958; 7: 42
        • Holman R.L.
        • Brown B.W.
        • Gore I.
        • McMillan G.C.
        • Paterson J.C.
        • Pollak O.J.
        • Roberts J.C.
        • Wissler R.W.
        An index for the evaluation of arteriosclerotic lesions in the abdominal aorta. A report by the committee on lesions of the American Society for the Study of Arteriosclerosis.
        Circulation. 1960; 22: 1137
        • Campbell D.E.
        • Lumsden T.B.
        Serum cholesterol concentration during physical training and during subsequent detraining.
        Amer. J. Med. Sci. 1967; 253: 155