Aortic stiffness and aerobic exercise: Mechanistic insight from microarray analyses

Seiji Maeda*, Motoyuki Iemitsu, Takashi Miyauchi, Shinya Kuno, Mitsuo Matsuda, Hirofumi Tanaka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction/Purpose: Regular aerobic exercise reduces aortic stiffness. However, the mechanisms by which chronic exercise lowers arterial stiffness are not known. To determine the molecular mechanisms of these changes, the alteration of gene expression in the aorta by aerobic exercise training was measured with the microarray technique. Methods/Results: The differences in expression levels of 3800 genes in the abdominal aorta of sedentary control rats (8 wk old) and exercise-trained rats (8 wk old, treadmill running for 4 wk) were compared by the microarray analysis. Aortic pulse wave velocity (PWV) was lower and systemic arterial compliance was higher (both P < 0.05) in the exercise-trained group than in the control group. Of the 323 genes that displayed differential expression (upregulation of 206 genes and downregulation of 117 genes), a total of 29 genes (24 upregulated and 5 downregulated genes) were identified as potential candidate genes that may be involved in vasodilation and arterial destiffening. Using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction, we confirmed the results of microarray analysis that prostaglandin EP2 receptor (PGE-EP2R), prostaglandin EP4 receptor (PGE-EP4R), C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP), and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) genes were differentially expressed. Furthermore, there were modest correlations between arterial stiffness and levels of these factors. Differential expression of eNOS gene was further verified at protein level by using Western blot analysis. Conclusion: These results suggest that exercise training induces the altered expression in several genes including prostaglandin, CNP, and nitric oxide in the aorta and that these molecular changes (particularly eNOS as its protein expression was altered) may contribute, at least in part, to the beneficial effect of exercise training on aortic stiffness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1710-1716
Number of pages7
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Oct
Externally publishedYes


  • Aorta
  • Arteriosclerosis
  • Exercise training
  • Genes
  • Nitric oxide
  • Prostaglandins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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