Effects of voluntary exercise duration on myocardial ischaemic tolerance, kinase signaling and gene expression

Boris P. Budiono, Louise E. See Hoe, Jason N. Peart, Jelena Vider, Kevin J. Ashton, Angela Jacques, Luke J. Haseler, John P. Headrick*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: Exercise is cardioprotective, though optimal interventions are unclear. We assessed duration dependent effects of exercise on myocardial ischemia-reperfusion (I-R) injury, kinase signaling and gene expression. 

Methods: Responses to brief (2 day; 2EX), intermediate (7 and 14 day; 7EX and 14EX) and extended (28 day; 28EX) voluntary wheel running (VWR) were studied in male C57Bl/6 mice. Cardiac function, I-R tolerance and survival kinase signaling were assessed in perfused hearts. 

Key findings: Mice progressively increased running distances and intensity, from 2.4 ± 0.2 km/day (0.55 ± 0.04 m/s) at 2-days to 10.6 ± 0.4 km/day (0.72 ± 0.06 m/s) after 28-days. Myocardial mass and contractility were modified at 14–28 days VWR. Cardioprotection was not ‘dose-dependent’, with I-R tolerance enhanced within 7 days and not further improved with greater VWR duration, volume or intensity. Protection was associated with AKT, ERK1/2 and GSK3β phosphorylation, with phospho-AMPK selectively enhanced with brief VWR. Gene expression was duration-dependent: 7 day VWR up-regulated glycolytic (Pfkm) and down-regulated maladaptive remodeling (Mmp2) genes; 28 day VWR up-regulated caveolar (Cav3), mitochondrial biogenesis (Ppargc1a, Sirt3) and titin (Ttn) genes. Interestingly, I-R tolerance in 2EX/2SED groups improved vs. groups subjected to longer sedentariness, suggesting transient protection on transition to housing with running wheels. 

Significance: Cardioprotection is induced with as little as 7 days VWR, yet not enhanced with further or faster running. This protection is linked to survival kinase phospho-regulation (particularly AKT and ERK1/2), with glycolytic, mitochondrial, caveolar and myofibrillar gene changes potentially contributing. Intriguingly, environmental enrichment may also protect via similar kinase regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119253
JournalLife Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021


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