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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2009 Feb;296(2):H389-95. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.01393.2007. Epub 2008 Dec 5.

Exercise-induced expression of VEGF and salvation of myocardium in the early stage of myocardial infarction.

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Department of Cardiology, First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China.


The mechanism of exercise-induced benefit and angiogenesis in ischemic heart disease remains poorly defined. This study was designed to investigate the effects of exercise training on the expression of angiogenic factors and angiogenesis in the infarcted myocardium [myocarial infaction (MI)]. Sixty-three male FVB mice were used for study and were divided into subgroups to test the response to exercise: the time-dependent expression of angiogenic factors to exercise training in normal (group 1; n = 12) and infarcted myocardium (group 2; n = 15) and the exercise-induced angiogenic response in normal and infarcted myocardium (group 3; n = 20) as well as the impact of exercise preconditioning on infarcted myocardium (group 4; n = 26). Exercise training consisted of daily treadmill exercise for 1 h for 3 days. Expression of VEGF and its receptors Flt-1 and Flk-1 was upregulated by exercise training in mice with MI. Exercise-induced VEGF expression in the MI group was higher than that in the sham (control) group. Cell proliferation assessment showed a significantly higher (P < 0.05) number of bromodeoxyuridine-positive cells in post-MI mice in the exercise group as opposed to post-MI mice in the sedentary group. 2,3,5-Triphenyltetrazolium chloride staining revealed a profound difference in the size of MI (18.25 +/- 2.93%) in the exercise group versus the sedentary group (29.26 +/- 7.64%, P = 0.02). Moreover, exercise preconditioning before MI promoted VEGF expression at both mRNA and protein levels. In conclusion, activation of VEGF and its receptors occurs in the infarcted mice heart in response to exercise, which results in decreased infarct size and improved angiogenesis.

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