The weekly averages of daily running for CHF 148 (normal) and CHF 147 (CM) hamsters are shown in Figure 1. The daily running distance for the first week was 10.2±0.5 km for normal and 9.8±1.1 km (mean ± SEM) for CM hamsters. It remained similar for both groups until approximately 280 days of age, when the daily distance started to decline in CM hamsters. Most hamsters died from progressive failure with characteristic features of hard breathing and severe subcutaneous edema. In normal CHF 148 hamsters, the daily running was very stable between age 270 days, with 5.5±0.4 km, and age 508 days, with 4.3±0.61 km. Running data expressed from the time of death (Figure 2, top) show that the decline due to disease starts approximately eight weeks before death, with near normal values of 4.3 to 5.5 km/day, and decreases progressively to minimal running.
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Figure 1 Weekly average of daily running in cardiomyopathic (CM) (CHF 147) and normal (CHF 148) hamsters. Hamsters were provided with a wheel at the age of 60 days and running distance was monitored everyday. The arrow represents when CHF 147 hamsters were shipped from Nova Scotia to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Figure 2 Daily running (top) and body weight (bottom) (mean ± SEM) are expressed from time of death in cardiomyopathic (CHF 147) hamsters (the same hamsters as in Figure 1). For comparison, in normal (CHF 148) hamsters, the daily running distance varied between 5.5 and 4.3 km/day and body weight between 162 and 178 g between the ages of280 and 536 days (hatched surface)