Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2014) 13, 689 - 694

Research article
Comparison of Oxygen Consumption in Rats During Uphill (Concentric) and Downhill (Eccentric) Treadmill Exercise Tests
Vivien Chavanelle1, Pascal Sirvent1, Gaël Ennequin1, Kévin Caillaud1, Christophe Montaurier2,3, Béatrice Morio2,3, Nathalie Boisseau1, Ruddy Richard2,3,4, 
Author Information
1 Clermont Université, Université Blaise Pascal, Laboratoire des Adaptations Métaboliques à l’Exercice en conditions Physiologiques et Pathologiques (AME2P), Aubière Cedex, France
2 INRA, UMR 1019, CRNH-Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, 1 France
3 UFR Médecine, Clermont-Ferrand, France
4 Department of Sport Medicine and Functional Explorations, University-Hospital (CHU), Hôpital G. Montpied, Clermont-Ferrand, France

Ruddy Richard
✉ Service de Médecine du Sport et des Explorations Fonctionnelles, CHU G Montpied, 58, rue Montalembert, 63001 Clermont-Ferrand Cedex 1, France
Publish Date
Received: 26-02-2014
Accepted: 09-06-2014
Published (online): 01-09-2014
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The study of the physiological adaptations of skeletal muscle in response to eccentric (ECC) contraction is based on protocols in which exercise intensities are determined relative to the concentric (CON) reference exercise (as percentage of the CON maximal oxygen consumption, or VO2max). In order to use similar exercise protocols in rats, we compared the VO2 values during uphill (CON) and downhill (ECC) running tests. VO2 was measured in 15 Wistar rats during incremental treadmill running exercises with different slopes: level (0%), positive (+15% incline: CON+15%) and negative (i15% incline: ECC-15%; and 130% incline: ECC-30%). Similar VO2 values were obtained in the ECC-30% and CON+15% running conditions at the three target speeds (15, 25 and 35 cm/sec). Conversely, VO2 values were lower (p < 0.05) in the ECC-15% than in the CON+15% condition (CON+15% VO2/ECC-15% VO2 ratios ranging from 1.86 to 2.05 at the three target speeds). Thus, doubling the downhill slope gradient in ECC condition leads to an oxygen consumption level that is not significantly different as in CON condition. These findings can be useful for designing animal research protocols to study the effects of ECC and CON exercise in ageing population or subjects suffering from cardiovascular diseases.

Key words: Exercise, eccentric, running, VO2, rodent

           Key Points
  • VO2 in rats during treadmill race in eccentric and concentric conditions were measured.
  • A novel breath-by-breath device allowing direct access to the animal was used.
  • Three different slopes: +15%, -15% and -30% were used.
  • VO2 values obtained in the -30% eccentric and the +15% concentric conditions were not significantly different.
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