Skeletal muscle dictates the fibrinolytic state after exercise training in overweight men with characteristics of metabolic syndrome.
While there is indisputable evidence supporting the beneficial role of aerobic exercise in reducing cardiovascular risk factors, there are few dose-response studies of this relationship. Increasingly, it is thought that the cardiovascular benefits of exercise are significantly influenced by adaptations within skeletal muscle and its vasculature. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying these adaptations. To address this need, we initiated a study utilizing longitudinal, microarray-based gene expression profiling of serial skeletal muscle biopsies obtained from the study of targeted risk reduction intervention through defined exercise (STRRIDE). STRRIDE participants were overweight and exhibited symptoms characteristic of the metabolic syndrome that typically precedes type II diabetes such as insulin resistance, abnormal lipids and glucose intolerance. Expression data were statistically filtered and sorted into exercise training-responsive clusters based on gene product knowledge. One such cluster included genes that promote the degradation of fibrin clots such as tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA), connective tissue activation peptide III (CTAP III) and tetranectin. The fibrinolytic activity and protein levels of tetranectin, and t-PA and its endogenous inhibitor PAI-1, were subsequently shown to change significantly in both skeletal muscle and serum in response to exercise training. Our data show that the rigors of exercise directly induce fibrinolytic genes and protein cascades, both within muscle, and in the systemic circulation. This finding is particularly significant given that the metabolic syndrome is an independent risk factor for peripheral vascular disease and thrombotic events within the heart and brain. We conclude that aerobic exercise training induces both local and systemic changes in fibrinolysis and vascular homeostasis that are probably protective against cardiovascular disease.
Hittel, DS; Kraus, WE; Hoffman, EP
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