Aging-dependent decline in the angiogenesis of heart is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. This study was aimed to characterize effect of exercise on angiogenesis alterations and molecular mediators which are related to angiogenesis in the heart under aging condition.
Twenty-one male Wistar rats were assigned into three groups: young, aged, and exercise. Aged animals in the exercise group run on treadmill for 8 weeks. At the end, heart samples were collected and used for histological evaluation , determination of angiogenesis by immunostaining for PECAM-1/ CD31 and expressions of vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A), thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) and nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) levels by ELISA. P<0.05 is considered as statistically significant.
Our results showed that angiogenesis, and VEGF-A levels were significantly decreased, TSP1 (P>0.0001) and p-NF-κB (P>0.001) levels were significantly increased in the heart of aged group compared to young group. Exercise group showed significant increase in angiogenesis, VEGF-A (P>0.0001), and p-NF-κB (P>0.001) and showed significant decrease in TSP-1 levels (P>0.001) compared to aged group. Moreover, compared to the young group, aged group showed histological changes in the heart, such as interstitial edema, and congestion, whereas, treatment with exercise improved these undesirable changes in the heart of exercise groups.
These findings indicated that aging-related decrease in angiogenesis in the heart may mediated by downexpression of VEGF-A and overexpression of TSP-1 proteins. Also, we showed that p-NF-κB protein was increased in the heart of aged rats, this probably mediated by compensatory mechanism. It was also showed that exercise as novel non-pharmacological therapy modifies VEGF-A and TSP-1 and increases p-NF-κB protein levels in the aged heart.
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