Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access

Publication Date


Faculty Mentor

Stephen C. Kolwicz Jr.


Endurance exercise events like marathons, ultra-marathons, and triathlons have become increasingly popular recreational activities and/or competitions over the last several decades. It has been established that men usually exhibit increased performance potential in such competitions, but present literature suggests that as race distances increase, female endurance exercise performance increases, and the performance “sex gap” decreases. This may be explained by females’ increased ability to metabolize lipids when carbohydrate stores are depleted through long bouts of exercise. Preliminary data shows that female C57BL/6-NCrl mice have significantly higher endurance exercise capacity than do male C57BL/6-NCrl mice. Furthermore, females have increased levels of serum ketone bodies and fatty acids, while males have increased blood glucose levels. The purpose of this study was to determine if sex-specific differences in metabolic gene expression of liver and skeletal muscle tissues affect endurance exercise capacity and/or substrate metabolism. Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction data suggest that exercised female mice exhibit an upregulation of genes involved with fatty acid oxidation in skeletal muscle tissue. This project is important in identifying physiological and genetic causal factors that contribute to the sex gap in endurance exercise performance and differences in substrate metabolism.


Presented as part of the Ursinus College Celebration of Student Achievement (CoSA) held April 22, 2021.

The downloadable file is a poster presentation with audio commentary.


Available to Ursinus community only.