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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2003 Jan;94(1):234-44. Epub 2002 Sep 13.

Short-term training enhances endothelium-dependent dilation of coronary arteries, not arterioles.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia 65211, USA.


Our objective was to test the hypothesis that short-term exercise training (STR) of pigs increases endothelium-dependent dilation (EDD) of coronary arteries but not coronary arterioles. Female Yucatan miniature swine ran on a treadmill for 1 h, at 3.5 mph, twice daily for 7 days (STR; n = 28). Skeletal muscle citrate synthase activity was increased in STR compared with sedentary controls (Sed; n = 26). Vasoreactivity was evaluated in isolated segments of conduit arteries (1-2 mm ID, 3-4 mm length) mounted on myographs and in arterioles (50-100 microm ID) isolated and cannulated with micropipettes with intraluminal pressure set at 60 cmH(2)O. EDD was assessed by examining responses to increasing concentrations of bradykinin (BK) (conduit arteries 10(-12)-10(-6) M and arterioles 10(-13)-10(-6) M). There were no differences in maximal EDD or BK sensitivity of coronary arterioles from Sed and STR hearts. In contrast, sensitivity of conduit arteries (precontracted with PGF(2alpha)) to BK was increased significantly (P < 0.05) in STR (EC(50), 2.33 +/- 0.62 nM, n = 12) compared with Sed animals (EC(50), 3.88 +/- 0.62 nM, n = 13). Immunoblot analysis revealed that coronary arteries from STR and Sed animals had similar levels of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS). In contrast, eNOS protein was increased in STR aortic endothelial cells. Neither protein nor mRNA levels of eNOS were different in coronary arterioles from STR compared with Sed animals. STR did not alter expression of superoxide dismutase (SOD-1) protein in any artery examined. We conclude that pigs exhibit increases in EDD of conduit arteries, but not in coronary arterioles, at the onset of exercise training. These adaptations in pigs do not appear to be mediated by alterations in eNOS or SOD-1 expression.

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