Chronic heat improves mechanical and metabolic response of trained rat heart on ischemia and reperfusion

Eliana Levy, Yonathan Hasin, Gil Navon, Michal Horowitz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cardiac mechanics and metabolic performance were studied in isolated perfused hearts of rats subjected to a combined chronic stress of heat acclimation and swimming training (EXAC) or swimming training alone (EX). Diastolic (DP) and systolic pressures (SP), coronary flow (CF), and oxygen consumption were measured during normoperfusion (80 mmHg), and the appearance of ischemic contracture (IC), DP, and SP were measured during progressive graded ischemia, total ischemia (TI), and reperfusion insults. ATP, phosphocreatine, and intracellular pH were measured during TI and reperfusion with 31P nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. During normoperfusion, SP and cardiac efficiency (derived from rate-pressure product-oxygen consumption relationships) were the highest in the 2-mo EXAC hearts (P < 0.0001). During progressive graded ischemia, the development of IC (percentage of total hearts) was similar in both EXAC and EX hearts; the only significant difference was confined to the 1- vs. 2-mo groups. The onset of IC was delayed in the EXAC hearts and, on reperfusion, recovery, particularly of DP, was significantly improved in the latter. After TI, EXAC hearts retained 30% of the ATP pool and there was a delayed decline in intracellular pH. On reperfusion, these hearts also displayed improved ATP and phosphocreatine recovery, the 2-mo EXAC heart demonstrating significantly faster high-energy phosphate salvage, improved diastolic function, and pulse pressure recovery. The data attest to the beneficial effects of heat acclimation on cardiac mechanics of trained rats during normoperfusion and cardiac protection on ischemia and reperfusion. Possibly, energy sparing, lesser acidosis, and shorter duration of IC on ischemia and improved energy salvage on reperfusion contribute synergistically to this potent beneficial effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H2085-H2094
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number5 41-5
StatePublished - 1997


  • adenosine 5'- triphosphate
  • cardiac contractility
  • heat acclimation
  • intracellular pH
  • oxygen consumption
  • phosphocreatine
  • phosphorus-31 nuclear magnetic resonance


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