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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2002 Dec;283(6):H2397-410. Epub 2002 Jul 26.

Exercise training attenuates coronary smooth muscle phenotypic modulation and nuclear Ca2+ signaling.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia 65212, USA.


Physical inactivity is an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease, yet the mechanism(s) of exercise-related cardioprotection remains unknown. We tested the hypothesis that coronary smooth muscle after exercise training would have decreased mitogen-induced phenotypic modulation and enhanced regulation of nuclear Ca(2+). Yucatan swine were endurance exercise trained (EX) on a treadmill for 16-20 wk. EX reduced endothelin-1-induced DNA content by 40% compared with sedentary (SED) swine (P < 0.01). EX decreased single cell peak endothelin-1-induced cytosolic Ca(2+) responses compared with SED by 16% and peak nuclear Ca(2+) responses by 33% (P < 0.05), as determined by confocal microscopy. On the basis of these results, we hypothesized that sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase (SERCA) and intracellular Ca(2+) stores in native smooth muscle are spatially localized to dissociate cytosolic Ca(2+) and nuclear Ca(2+). Subcellular localization of SERCA in living and fixed cells revealed a distribution of SERCA near the sarcolemma and on the nuclear envelope. These results show that EX enhances nuclear Ca(2+) regulation, possibly via SERCA, which may be one mechanism by which coronary smooth muscle cells from EX are less responsive to mitogen-induced phenotypic modulation.

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