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J Appl Physiol (1985). 1999 May;86(5):1696-701.

Differential expression of stress proteins in rat myocardium after free wheel or treadmill run training.

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  • 1Department of Kinesiology, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 3K7.


High-intensity treadmill exercise increases the expression of a cardioprotective, inducible 72-kDa stress protein (SP72) in cardiac muscle. This investigation examined whether voluntary free wheel exercise training would be sufficient to confer a similar response. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to either treadmill (TM-Tr) or free wheel (FW-Tr) training groups. By the end of the 8-wk training period, TM-Tr animals ran 1 h/day, 5 days/wk up a 10% grade, covering a distance of 8,282 m/wk. FW-Tr rats ran, on average, 5,300 m/wk, with one-third of the animals covering distances similar to those for the TM-Tr group. At the time of death, hearts of trained and caged sedentary control (Sed) animals were divided into left (LV) and right (RV) ventricles. Citrate synthase activity and the relative immunoblot contents of SP72, SP73 (the constitutive isoform of the SP70 family), and a 75-kDa mitochondrial chaperone (SP75) were subsequently determined. LV and RV did not differ on any measure, and SP73, SP75, and citrate synthase were not affected by training. Cardiac SP72 levels were elevated over fourfold in both ventricles of TM-Tr compared with RV of FW-Sed rats. Despite the animals having run a similar total distance, cardiac SP72 content in FW-Tr rats was not different from that in Sed animals. These data indicate that voluntary exercise training is insufficient to elicit an elevation of SP72 in rat heart and suggest that exercise intensity may be a critical factor in evoking the cardioprotective SP72 response.

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