Impact of Exercise and Activity on Weight Regain and Musculoskeletal Health Post-Ovariectomy. Academic Article uri icon


  • The purpose of this study was to determine whether obesity and/or exercise training alters weight regain and musculoskeletal health after ovariectomy (OVX). Female rats were fed high-fat diet (HFD) to reveal obesity-prone (OP) and obesity-resistant (OR) phenotypes. The OP and OR exercising (EX) and sedentary (SED) rats were calorically restricted to lose 15% of body weight using medium-fat diet. Rats were then maintained in energy balance for 8 wk before OVX. After OVX and a brief calorically limited phase, rats were allowed to eat ad libitum until body weight plateaued. Starting at weight loss, EX ran 1 hd, 6 dwk, 15 mmin. Energy intake, spontaneous physical activity (SPA), and total energy expenditure were evaluated at the end of weight maintenance pre-OVX, and at three time points post-OVX: before weight regain, during early regain, and after regain. Data are presented as mean SE. Exercise attenuated weight regain after OVX in OP only (OP-EX, 123 10 g; OP-SED, 165 12 g; OR-EX, 121 6 g; OR-SED, 116 6 g), which was primarily an attenuation of fat gain. The early post-OVX increase in energy intake explained much of the weight regain, and was similar across groups. Exercising improved bone strength, as did maintaining SPA. Group differences in muscle mitochondrial respiration were not significant. The large decrease in SPA due to OVX was persistent, but early weight regain was dependent on decreased SPA. In conclusion, leanness and exercise do not necessarily protect from OVX-induced weight gain. Exercise prevented weight gain in obese rats, but loss of SPA was the greatest contributor to post-OVX weight gain. Thus, understanding the mechanisms resulting in reduction in SPA after ovarian hormone loss is critical in the prevention of menopause-associated metabolic dysfunction.

published proceedings

  • Med Sci Sports Exerc

altmetric score

  • 2

author list (cited authors)

  • Sherk, V. D., Jackman, M. R., Higgins, J. A., Giles, E. D., Foright, R. M., Presby, D. M., ... Maclean, P. S.

citation count

  • 6

complete list of authors

  • Sherk, Vanessa D||Jackman, Matthew R||Higgins, Janine A||Giles, Erin D||Foright, Rebecca M||Presby, David M||Carpenter, R Dana||Johnson, Ginger C||Oljira, Robera||Houck, Julie A||Maclean, Paul S

publication date

  • January 1, 2019 11:11 AM