Ultrastructural morphometry of matrical changes induced by exercise and food restriction in the rat calcaneal tendon

Chukuka S. Enwemeka, Leo C. Maxwell, Gabriel Fernandes

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27 Citations (Scopus)


The ultrastructural morphometry of collagen fibril populations in 24 calcaneal tendons obtained from 12 Fischer 344 rats were studied to elucidate matrical changes induced by food restriction and/or endurance exercise. Rats were randomly assigned to four equal groups: ad libitum control (AC), ad libitum exercise (AE), restricted diet control (RC) and restricted diet exercise (RE) groups. Beginning from 6 weeks of age, animals in the two food restriction groups were fed 60% of the mean food consumption of ad libitum fed rats. Then, starting from 6-7 months of age, the rats in the two exercise groups performed 40-50 min of treadmill running at 1.2-1.6 miles h-1 every day for a total of 10 weeks. Endurance training did not significantly alter body weight, but food restriction with or without exercise resulted in a significant loss of body weight. In ad libitum fed controls, food restriction alone did not significantly alter the mean collagen fibril CSA, but predisposed a preponderance of small-sized collagen fibrils. Endurance training per se induced a significant (32%) increase in mean fibril CSA (P < 0.05), but this adaptive response to exercise was prevented by food restriction, as indicated by a 33% decline in fibril CSA (P < 0.05). These findings demonstrate that dietary restriction modifies the adaptation of tendon collagen morphometry in response to endurance training, and that weight loss is better achieved with food restriction than endurance exercise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-510
Number of pages12
JournalTissue and Cell
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Tendon
  • collagen
  • exercise
  • food restriction
  • morphometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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