AIMS: We examined coupling of myocardial ischaemic tolerance to physical activity and inactivity, and whether this involves modulation of survival (AKT, AMPK, ERK1/2, HSP27, EGFR) and injury (GSK3β) proteins implicated in ischaemic preconditioning and calorie restriction.
METHODS: Proteomic modifications were assessed in ventricular myocardium, and tolerance to 25-min ischaemia in ex vivo perfused hearts from C57Bl/6 mice subjected to 14-day voluntary activity in running-naïve animals (Active); 7 days of subsequent inactivity (Inactive); brief (day 3) restoration of running (Re-Active); or time-matched inactivity.
RESULTS: Active mice increased running speed and distance by 75-150% over 14 days (to ~40 m min(-1) and 10 km day(-1) ), with Active hearts resistant to post-ischaemic dysfunction (40-50% improvements in ventricular pressure development, diastolic pressure and dP/dt). Cardioprotection was accompanied by ~twofold elevations in AKT, AMPK, HSP27 and GSK3β phosphorylation and EGFR expression. Ischaemic tolerance was reversed in Inactive hearts, paralleling reduced EGFR expression and GSK3β and ERK1/2 phosphorylation (AKT, AMPK, HSP27 phosphorylation unaltered). Running characteristics, ischaemic tolerance, EGFR expression and GSK3β phosphorylation returned to Active levels within 1-3 days of restored activity (without changes in AKT, AMPK or HSP27 phosphorylation). Transcriptional responses included activity-dependent Anp induction vs. Hmox1 and Sirt3 suppression, and inactivity-dependent Adora2b induction.
CONCLUSIONS: Data confirm the sensitive coupling of ischaemic tolerance to activity: voluntary running induces cardioprotection that dissipates within 1 week of inactivity yet recovers rapidly upon subsequent activity. While exercise in naïve animals induces a molecular profile characteristic of preconditioning/calorie restriction, only GSK3β and EGFR modulation consistently parallel activity- and inactivity-dependent ischaemic tolerance.