Document Type



The possibility of developing Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) is determined by a combination of genetic factors and the lifestyle of the individual. Higher risks of T2DM diagnosis occur when individuals are exposed to lifestyle factors such as physical inactivity and high fat diet consumption. Animal models, including mice, are consistently used in laboratory studies to understand T2DM in humans due to genetic and physiological similarities. This study focuses on whether change of diet and increased exercise can reduce obesity and alleviate T2DM symptoms in C57BL/6J (B6) mice. Changes in weight, anxiety-like behaviors, leptin and insulin levels and glucose tolerance during a 12:12 light/dark circadian rhythm will be measured when B6 mice are given a high fat diet ad libtium with and without a running wheel. One half of the mice initially weaned on a high-fat diet were switched to a regular chow (lower calorie food) half way through the study to observe physiological changes. Physiological parameters such as body mass, kilocalories (kcal) consumed, food and water intake were measured weekly over a 20 week period and then analyzed statistically. High fat recovery (HFR) groups showed improvements in body mass, insulin and leptin levels after switching to a regular chow in association with daily exercise. Glucose tolerance tests were performed before and after the food switch. HFR mice exhibited improved glucose tolerance, lower insulin levels and lower triglyceride levels in whole blood upon reducing dietary fat intake. Explorative and anxiety behaviors were assessed with light-dark box and open-field box assays. Mice without running wheels were more active in open-field anxiety test, and spent increased time in the dark with light-dark (LD) box tests. Results suggest that incorporating a healthy diet along with daily exercise improves quality of health and can suppress T2DM symptoms and related conditions.



Thesis Comittee

Joseph Seggio (Thesis Director)

Merideth Krevosky

Karyn O’Connell

Copyright and Permissions

Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.

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