Background. Regular exercise at moderate intensity reduces cardiovascular risks. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) play a major role in cardiac remodeling, facilitating physiological adaptation to exercise. The aim of this study was to examine the influence of voluntary physical exercise on the MMP-2 enzyme activity and to investigate the cardiac performance by measurement of angina susceptibility of the heart, the basal blood pressure, the surviving aorta ring contraction, and the cardiac infarct size after I/R-induced injury. Methods. Male Wistar rats were divided into control and exercising groups. After a 6-week period, the serum level of MMP-2, basal blood pressure, cardiac angina susceptibility (the ST segment depression provoked by epinephrine and 30 s later phentolamine), AVP-induced heart perfusion and aorta ring contraction, infarct size following 30 min ischemia and 120 min reperfusion, and coronary effluent MMP-2 activity were measured. Results. Voluntary wheel-running exercise decreased both the sera (64 kDa and 72 kDa) and the coronary effluent (64 kDa) MMP-2 level, reduced the development of ST depression, improved the isolated heart perfusion, and decreased the ratio of infarct size. Conclusion. 6 weeks of voluntary exercise training preserved the heart against cardiac injury. This protective mechanism might be associated with the decreased activity of MMP-2.
ASJC Scopus subject areas