Date of Graduation

Summer 2009


Master of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology


Biomedical Sciences

Committee Chair

Scott Zimmerman


Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), Beta-amyloid (AB), Tg2576 mice, emotional stress, physical stress

Subject Categories

Medical Molecular Biology


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of voluntary and forced exercise on Alzheimer's disease (AD) markers in the Tg2576 mouse model. Mice in the voluntary exercise (VOL) group were exposed to a running wheel. Mice in the forced exercise (FOR) group ran on a motorized treadmill at the average velocity of the VOL group. The FOR group was motivated to run by an electric grid located at the back of the treadmill. A forced control (FCON) group was subjected to an equal number of foot shocks as the FOR group which served as a control for the foot shock stressor. Treatment groups were compared to a sedentary control (SED) group. The relationship between the VOL and the FOR were determined by analyzing behavioral studies, soluble Aβ -40 and -42 levels, Aβ plaque load in the hippocampus, and hippocampal volume. Lipid peroxidation levels were measured to determine oxidative stress mediated by Aβ. The VOL group spent more time investigating a novel object than all other groups. The VOL group had fewer Aβ plaque counts than all other groups, however, the FOR group had the next lowest plaque counts. Both exercise groups maintained hippocampal volume compared to the two control groups. Soluble Aβ levels and lipid peroxidation levels did not differ among groups. We conclude that voluntary exercise may be more effective than forced exercise in reducing the rate of cognitive decline and plaque deposition in the Tg2576 mouse model of AD.


© Matthew Jon Kling

Campus Only