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Comp Med. 2013 Jun;63(3):233-43.

Effects of chemically induced ovarian failure on voluntary wheel-running exercise and cardiac adaptation in mice.

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Department of Physiology, Sarver Molecular Cardiovascular Research Program, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA.


The role of exercise in decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women has not been studied sufficiently. Accordingly, we investigated the effect of voluntary wheel-running and forced treadmill exercise on cardiac adaptation in mice treated with 4-vinylcyclohexine diepoxide (VCD), which selectively accelerates the loss of primary and primordial follicles and results in a state that closely mimics human menopause. Two-month-old female C57BL/6 mice injected with VCD (160 mg/kg) for 20 consecutive days underwent ovarian failure by 60 to 90 d after injection. Responses to voluntary wheel running and treadmill exercise did not differ between VCD- and vehicle-treated 7-mo-old C57BL/6 or outbred B6C3F1 mice. Moreover, adaptive cardiac hypertrophy, hypertrophic marker expression, and skeletal muscle characteristics after voluntary cage-wheel exercise did not differ between VCD- and vehicle-treated mice. Because 5' AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a key component for the maintenance of cardiac energy balance during exercise, we determined the effect of exercise and VCD-induced ovarian failure on the AMPK signaling axis in the heart. According to Western blotting, VCD treatment followed by voluntary cage-wheel exercise differently affected the upstream AMPK regulatory components AMPKα1 and AMPKα2. In addition, net downstream AMPK signaling was reduced after VCD treatment and exercise. Our data suggest that VCD did not affect exercise-induced cardiac hypertrophy but did alter cellular cardiac adaptation in a mouse model of menopause.

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