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Iran Biomed J. 2016;20(1):26-32. Epub 2015 Oct 13.

Chronic Aerobic Exercise Decreases Lectin-Like Low Density Lipoprotein (LOX-1) Receptor Expression in Heart of Diabetic Rat.

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Exercise Physiology Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Dept. of Physiology and Biophysics, Faculty of Medicine, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Dept. Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Qom University of Medical Sciences, Qom, Iran.



Overexpression of lectin-like low density lipoprotein (LOX-1) receptor plays an important role in hyperglycemia-induced vascular complications such as atherosclerosis. Based on the beneficial effects of exercise on preventing cardiovascular complications of diabetes, we aimed to examine the protective effects of aerobic exercise on expression of LOX-1 receptor and production of free radicals in the heart of diabetic rats.


Four groups of rats were used: (n = 5 per group): sedentary normal, trained normal, sedentary diabetes and trained diabetes. Diabetes was induced by a single intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin (50 mg/kg). The exercise protocol was consisted of swimming 30 min/day, 5 days/week for eight weeks. Plasma glucose was evaluated at initiation, weeks 4 and 8 of experiment. At the end of experiment, rats were sacrificed and the heart was removed for determination of nitrate, malondialdehyde, and LOX-1 gene expression.


In normal non-diabetic rats, the blood glucose level was <150 mg/dl; however, the induction of diabetes resulted in levels more than >400 mg/dl. Gene expression of LOX-1 was increased in the heart of diabetic rats. Exercise reduced the gene expression of this protein in diabetic states without reducing the blood glucose. Finally, swimming exercise decreased the malondialdehyde and nitrate levels in heart tissue both in control and diabetic rats.


Swimming exercise reduces heart expression of the LOX-1 receptor in accompany with reduction of free radicals production. Since these parameters are important in generation of diabetic complications, swimming exercise is a good candidate for reducing these complications.


Diabetic complications; Exercise; Free radicals; Hyperglycemia; LOX-1 receptor

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