Steven L. Britton is a Professor of both Anesthesiology and Molecular & Integrative Physiology at the University of Michigan. Based upon the strong linkage between low exercise capacity and all-cause morbidity he hypothesized that: variation in capacity for aerobic metabolism is the central mechanistic determinant between disease and health (aerobic hypothesis). As an unbiased test of this hypothesis, Britton and Lauren G. Koch demonstrate that two-way artificial selection of rats for low and high exercise capacity also produces rats that differ for numerous disease risks, including the metabolic syndrome, premature aging, and reduced longevity. This rat model system is shared with investigators at over 50 institutions to understand exercise as it relates to health and disease.
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