What is it about?

Animals were either isolated or kept in sibling pairs. Within those groups animals either had or didn't have access to an exercise wheel. Among isolated animals, those without access to an exercise wheel showed two primary symptoms of chronic stress: 1) elevated stress hormone concentrations in the hair, and 2) increased size of the adrenal glands. Those with access to an exercise wheel did not show these symptoms.

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Why is it important?

This work provides some evidence to support the idea that exercise can prevent negative health consequences that might otherwise occur as a result of chronic social stress.


This publication was the result of a highly successful collaboration with my co-authors. So much so that we are planning additional collaborative studies to look into whether there are other consequences of isolation stress (e.g., behavioral, neural), and whether exercise can prevent those consequences as well.

Michael Jarcho
Siena College

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Wheel access has opposing effects on stress physiology depending on social environment in female prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster), Stress, January 2019, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/10253890.2018.1553948.
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