Exercise suppresses tumor growth independent of high fat food intake and associated immune dysfunction

Pernille Hojman, Rikke Stagaard, Emi Adachi-Fernandez, Atul S. Deshmukh, Andreas Mund, Caroline H. Olsen, Lena Keller, Bente K. Pedersen, Julie Gehl*

*Corresponding author for this work


Epidemiological data suggest that exercise training protects from cancer independent of BMI. Here, we aimed to elucidate mechanisms involved in voluntary wheel running-dependent control of tumor growth across chow and high-fat diets. Access to running wheels decreased tumor growth in B16F10 tumor-bearing on chow (− 50%) or high-fat diets (− 75%, p < 0.001), however, tumor growth was augmented in high-fat fed mice (+ 53%, p < 0.001). Tumor growth correlated with serum glucose (p < 0.01), leptin (p < 0.01), and ghrelin levels (p < 0.01), but not with serum insulin levels. Voluntary wheel running increased immune recognition of tumors as determined by microarray analysis and gene expression analysis of markers of macrophages, NK and T cells, but the induction of markers of macrophages and NK cells was attenuated with high-fat feeding. Moreover, we found that the regulator of innate immunity, ZBP1, was induced by wheel running, attenuated by high-fat feeding and associated with innate immune recognition in the B16F10 tumors. We observed no effects of ZBP1 on cell cycle arrest, or exercise-regulated necrosis in the tumors of running mice. Taken together, our data support epidemiological findings showing that exercise suppresses tumor growth independent of BMI, however, our data suggest that high-fat feeding attenuates exercise-mediated immune recognition of tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5476
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


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