Sidhu, Akram
Vann, Philip
Wong, Jessica
Sumien, Nathalie


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The present study provided an assessment of the effect of exercise and/or vitamins on anxiety, coordinated running and motor function in young and old mice. Our data indicate that the effect of exercise and antioxidant supplementation may vary depending the age of the subject. Furthermore, there seem to be an increase their beneficial outcomes on motor function, when exercise is combined with antioxidant supplementation. Purpose (a): Aging is associated with a decline in psychomotor functioning and ability to learn new motor learning skills. Interventions such as exercise and antioxidants supplementation when investigated independently seem to have a beneficial impact on motor function in both human and animal subjects. A large number of health conscious individuals often combine exercise with vitamin supplementation, anticipating a synergistic effect maximizing their performance. Recent studies have also indicated a potential for an antagonistic action of the antioxidants on the beneficial effects of exercise. To date, it has not been well established what the nature of the interaction between antioxidant supplementation and exercise is in terms of functional outcomes and whether age will influence the outcomes. This study investigated the effects of moderate exercise and antioxidant supplementation on the motor performance of young and old mice. Methods (b): Separate groups of young (4 months), and old (20 months) male C57BL/6J mice were placed under one of the following treatments: Sedentary/control diet (SedCon), Sedentary/antioxidant-rich diet (vitamin E (128 IU/kg/d of body weight) and vitamin C (189 mg/kg/d of body weight); SedEC); Exercise/control diet (ExCon); Exercise/antioxidant-rich diet (ExEC). After 8 weeks of pre-treatment, the mice underwent a series of behavioral tests while remaining on their respective condition (elevated plus maze, spontaneous activity; coordinated running, wire suspension, and bridge walking). Results (c): Our preliminary data suggested that the time spent in the closed arms was increased in all treated mice compared to controls, and that the increase seemed more evident in the young mice. The latency to fall from a rotating rod seemed to be increased in the ExEC young and old mice when compared to all the other groups. The ExCon group had higher latency to fall while the other treatment groups seemed to have lower latencies when compared to SedCon within the young group. In the old group, only the ExEC group had higher latencies that the SedCon group while the others did not seem to differ. Latencies to fall from the bridge were increased in young groups where mice exercised (ExCon and ExEC), while they were decreased in SedEC and ExCon old mice compared to controls. Conclusions (d): Our data indicated that exercise and antioxidant supplementation can affect motor performance of young and old mice. Though preliminary, there seemed to be a differential effect dependent on the age of the mice. Lastly, there seem to be some type of interaction between antioxidant supplementation and exercise that may increase their beneficial outcomes.