Aging impairs endothelial function and the vascular tone regulation, although the precise mechanism remains unclear. Endothelin-1 (ET-1) is a potent vasoconstrictor peptide produced by vascular endothelial cells. Because ET-1 has a potent vasoconstrictor effect on vessels, it may be involved in the regulation of vascular tonus. We hypothesized that aging causes a decrease in ET-1 expression in aorta, and that exercise training improves the aging-induced decrease in ET-1 expression in aorta. This study was performed to examine whether gene expression of ET-1 in the aorta of rats is altered by aging and subsequent exercise training. We studied expression of ET-1 mRNA in the aortas of sedentary young rats (Sedentary young group, 4 months old), sedentary aged rats (Sedentary aged group, 23 months old), and swim trained aged rats (Training aged group, 23 months old; swimming training for 8 weeks, 5 days/week, 90 min/day). The expression of ET-1 mRNA in the aorta was analysed by real-time quantitative PCR. Body weight and resting heart rate were significantly lower in the Training aged group compared with the Sedentary aged group. These results suggest that the Training aged rats exhibited physiological effects from exercise training. The expression of ET-1 mRNA in the aorta was markedly lower in Sedentary aged group compared with the Sedentary young group, whereas it was significantly higher in Training aged group compared with the Sedentary aged group. These results show that the expression of ET-1 mRNA in the aorta is decreased by aging, and that the expression is increased by exercise training. Therefore, the present study provides a possibility that exercise training improves endothelial function through up-regulation of the aging-induced decrease in ET-1 expression in the aorta.
- Exercise training
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