Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2006 Nov;291(5):H2483-92. Epub 2006 Jun 23.

Exercise training blunts microvascular rarefaction in the metabolic syndrome.

Author information

Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Cardiovascular Science, Dept. of Physiology and Pharmacology, Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center, P.O. Box 9105, West Virginia Univ. School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV 26505, USA.


Reduced skeletal muscle microvessel density (MVD) in the obese Zucker rat (OZR) model of the metabolic syndrome is a function of a chronic reduction in vascular nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability. Previous studies suggest that exercise can improve NO bioavailability and reduce chronic inflammation and that low vascular NO bioavailability may be associated with impaired angiogenic responses via increased matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9 activity. As such, we hypothesized that chronic exercise (EX) would increase NO bioavailability in OZR and blunt microvascular rarefaction through reduced MMP activity, and potentially via altered plasma cytokine levels. Ten weeks of treadmill exercise (1 h/day, 5 days/wk, 22 m/min) reduced body mass and fasting insulin and triglyceride levels in EX-OZR vs. sedentary (SED) OZR. In EX-OZR, gastrocnemius muscle MVD was improved by 19 +/- 4%, whereas skeletal muscle arteriolar dilation and conduit arterial methacholine-induced NO release were increased. In EX-OZR, functional hyperemia was improved vs. SED-OZR, and minimum vascular resistance within perfused gastrocnemius muscle was reduced, although no change in arteriolar stiffness was identified. Western blotting and gelatin zymography demonstrated that neither expression nor activity of MMP-2 or MMP-9 was altered in skeletal muscle of EX vs. SED animals. Plasma markers of inflammation associated with angiogenesis, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and IL-1beta, were increased in SED-OZR and were reduced with training, whereas IL-13 was reduced in SED-OZR and increased with exercise. These data suggest that exercise-induced improvements in skeletal muscle MVD in OZR are associated with increased NO bioavailability and may stem from altered inflammatory profiles rather than MMP function.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center