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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2017 Dec 1;123(6):1579-1591. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00117.2017. Epub 2017 Sep 7.

Beneficial effects of exercise training in heart failure are lost in male diabetic rats.

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UMR-S 942 Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), Université Paris-Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, France.
UMS IPSIT Animex Platform, Université Paris-Sud, Université Paris-Saclay, Châtenay-Malabry, France.
UMR-S 1180 INSERM, Université Paris-Sud, Université Paris-Saclay, Châtenay-Malabry, France.
Cardiology, Assistance Publique-Hópitaux de Paris (AP-HP), Ambroise Paré, Paris.


Exercise training has been demonstrated to have beneficial effects in patients with heart failure (HF) or diabetes. However, it is unknown whether diabetic patients with HF will benefit from exercise training. Male Wistar rats were fed either a standard (Sham, n = 53) or high-fat, high-sucrose diet ( n = 66) for 6 mo. After 2 mo of diet, the rats were already diabetic. Rats were then randomly subjected to either myocardial infarction by coronary artery ligation (MI) or sham operation. Two months later, heart failure was documented by echocardiography and animals were randomly subjected to exercise training with treadmill for an additional 8 wk or remained sedentary. At the end, rats were euthanized and tissues were assayed by RT-PCR, immunoblotting, spectrophotometry, and immunohistology. MI induced a similar decrease in ejection fraction in diabetic and lean animals but a higher premature mortality in the diabetic group. Exercise for 8 wk resulted in a higher working power developed by MI animals with diabetes and improved glycaemia but not ejection fraction or pathological phenotype. In contrast, exercise improved the ejection fraction and increased adaptive hypertrophy after MI in the lean group. Trained diabetic rats with MI were nevertheless able to develop cardiomyocyte hypertrophy but without angiogenic responses. Exercise improved stress markers and cardiac energy metabolism in lean but not diabetic-MI rats. Hence, following HF, the benefits of exercise training on cardiac function are blunted in diabetic animals. In conclusion, exercise training only improved the myocardial profile of infarcted lean rats fed the standard diet. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Exercise training is beneficial in patients with heart failure (HF) or diabetes. However, less is known of the possible benefit of exercise training for HF patients with diabetes. Using a rat model where both diabetes and MI had been induced, we showed that 2 mo after MI, 8 wk of exercise training failed to improve cardiac function and metabolism in diabetic animals in contrast to lean animals.


diabetes; exercise training; heart failure

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