Prior exercise training improves the outcome of acute myocardial infarction in the rat: Heart structure, function, and gene expression

Sarit Freimann, Mickey Scheinowitz, Daniel Yekutieli, Micha S. Feinberg, Michael Eldar, Gania Kessler-Icekson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: The aim of this research was to investigate the structural, functional, and molecular features of the remodeling heart in prior swim-trained infarcted rats. BACKGROUND: Physical exercise training is a known protective factor against cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The structural and molecular aspects underlying this protection in the remodeling heart have not been investigated. METHODS: After seven weeks of swimming exercise training, rats underwent surgical ligation of the left coronary artery followed by a four-week sedentary period. Untrained control rats underwent the same surgical protocol. Left ventricular function was assessed by echocardiography four weeks after infarction, and hearts were sampled for histological and molecular analysis. Ribonucleic acid from the surviving left ventricle was analyzed by complementary deoxyribonucleic acid arrays followed by Northern blotting or quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction of selected messenger ribonucleic acids (mRNAs). RESULTS: Scar area was 1.6-fold smaller (p = 0.0002), arteriolar density was 1.7-fold higher (p = 0.0002), and left ventricular shortening fraction was 1.9-fold higher (p = 0.003) in the exercise-trained compared with sedentary hearts. Eleven genes whose expression level varied by at least ±1.5-fold distinguished the prior exercised rats from their sedentary counterparts. Compared with sedentary, the exercised hearts displayed 9- and 2.4-times lower levels of atrial natriuretic peptide and aldolase mRNA (p = 0.03 and 0.04, respectively), and a 2.7- and 1.9-fold higher abundance of cytochrome c-oxidase and fatty acid binding protein, respectively (p < 0.03, each). CONCLUSIONS: Swimming exercise training before acute myocardial infarction reduces scar size, increases arteriole density, and manifests adaptation of stress- and energy-metabolism-related genes that may contribute to the improved heart function observed during remodeling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)931-938
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 15 Mar 2005


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