Chronic inflammation that occurs with aging is one of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Regular exercise may prevent cardiovascular morbidity by decreasing chronic systematic inflammation. Additionally, excess inflammation can be reduced by the anti-inflammatory protein pentraxin 3 (PTX3). Thus, both habitual exercise and PTX3 have an antiinflammatory effect. However, it is unclear whether regular exercise leads to increased plasma PTX3 concentration. In the present study, we investigated the effects of regular aerobic exercise on plasma PTX3 concentration in middle-aged and elderly women. Twenty-two postmenopausal women (60 ± 6 years) were randomly divided evenly into 2 groups (i.e., exercise intervention and control). Subjects in the exercise group completed 2 months of regular aerobic exercise training (walking and cycling, 30-45 min, 3-5 days·week -1). Before and after the intervention, we evaluated plasma PTX3 concentration, peak oxygen uptake, blood chemistry, and arterial distensibility (carotid arterial compliance and b-stiffness) in all participants. There were no significant differences in baseline parameters between the 2 groups. Plasma PTX3 concentration was significantly increased in the exercise group after the intervention (p < 0.05). High-density lipoprotein cholesterol, peak oxygen uptake, and arterial compliance were also significantly increased (p < 0.05), while b-stiffness was markedly decreased (p < 0.01) after the intervention. On the other hand, there was no change in the parameters tested in the control group. This study demonstrates that regular aerobic exercise increases plasma PTX3 concentration with improvement of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, peak oxygen uptake, and arterial distensibility in postmenopausal women.
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