Voluntary exercise improves cardiac function and prevents cardiac remodeling in a mouse model of dilated cardiomyopathy

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Objective: Despite the indubitable beneficial effect of exercise to prevent of cardiovascular diseases, there is still a lack of studies investigating the impact of exercise in non-ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy. Here, we investigated the impact of voluntary exercise on cardiac function in a mouse model of non-ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy (aMHC-MerCreMer:Sf/Sf), induced by cardiac-specific inactivation of the Serum Response Factor. Materials and Methods: Seven days after tamoxifen injection, 20 aMHC-MerCreMer:Sf/Sf mice were assigned to sedentary (n = 8) and exercise (n = 12) groups. Seven additional aMHC-MerCreMer:Sf/Sf mice without tamoxifen injection were used as control. The exercise group performed 4 weeks of voluntary running on wheel (1.8 ± 0.12 km/day). Cardiac function, myocardial fibrosis, and mitochondrial energetic pathways were then blindly assessed. Results: Exercised mice exhibited a smaller decrease of left ventricular (LV) fractional shortening and ejection fraction compared to control mice. This was associated with a lower degree of LV remodeling in exercised mice, as shown by a lower LV end-systolic intrerventricular septal and posterior wall thickness decrease from baseline values compared to sedentary mice. Moreover, exercised mice displayed a reduced gene expression of atrial and brain natriuretic factors. These benefits were associated by a reduced level of myocardial fibrosis. In addition, exercised mice exhibited a higher mitochondrial aconitase, voltage-dependent anion-selective channel 1 and PPAR gamma coactivators-1 alpha proteins levels suggesting that the increase of mitochondrial biogenesis and/or metabolism slowed the progression of dilated cardiomyopathy in exercised animals. Conclusions: In conclusion, our results support the role of voluntary exercise to improve outcomes in non-ischemic dilated heart failure (HF) and also support its potential for a routine clinical use in the future.




Deloux, R., Vitiello, D., Mougenot, N., Noirez, P., Li, Z., Mericskay, M., … Agbulut, O. (2017). Voluntary exercise improves cardiac function and prevents cardiac remodeling in a mouse model of dilated cardiomyopathy. Frontiers in Physiology, 8(NOV). https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2017.00899

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