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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2013 Jan 1;114(1):131-47. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.01059.2012. Epub 2012 Oct 25.

Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction: chronic low-intensity interval exercise training preserves myocardial O2 balance and diastolic function.

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Department of Biomedical Science, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, Missouri 65211, USA.


We have previously reported chronic low-intensity interval exercise training attenuates fibrosis, impaired cardiac mitochondrial function, and coronary vascular dysfunction in miniature swine with left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy (Emter CA, Baines CP. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 299: H1348-H1356, 2010; Emter CA, et al. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 301: H1687-H1694, 2011). The purpose of this study was to test two hypotheses: 1) chronic low-intensity interval training preserves normal myocardial oxygen supply/demand balance; and 2) training-dependent attenuation of LV fibrotic remodeling improves diastolic function in aortic-banded sedentary, exercise-trained (HF-TR), and control sedentary male Yucatan miniature swine displaying symptoms of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. Pressure-volume loops, coronary blood flow, and two-dimensional speckle tracking ultrasound were utilized in vivo under conditions of increasing peripheral mean arterial pressure and β-adrenergic stimulation 6 mo postsurgery to evaluate cardiac function. Normal diastolic function in HF-TR animals was characterized by prevention of increased time constant of isovolumic relaxation, normal LV untwisting rate, and enhanced apical circumferential and radial strain rate. Reduced fibrosis, normal matrix metalloproteinase-2 and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinase-4 mRNA expression, and increased collagen III isoform mRNA levels (P < 0.05) accompanied improved diastolic function following chronic training. Exercise-dependent improvements in coronary blood flow for a given myocardial oxygen consumption (P < 0.05) and cardiac efficiency (stroke work to myocardial oxygen consumption, P < 0.05) were associated with preserved contractile reserve. LV hypertrophy in HF-TR animals was associated with increased activation of Akt and preservation of activated JNK/SAPK. In conclusion, chronic low-intensity interval exercise training attenuates diastolic impairment by promoting compliant extracellular matrix fibrotic components and preserving extracellular matrix regulatory mechanisms, preserves myocardial oxygen balance, and promotes a physiological molecular hypertrophic signaling phenotype in a large animal model resembling heart failure with preserved ejection fraction.

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