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Gene expression profile and aortic vessel distensibility in voluntarily exercised spontaneously hypertensive rats: potential role of heat shock proteins

Journal article
Authors Ulrika Hägg Samuelsson
Maria E Johansson
Julia Grönros
Andrew Stuart Naylor
Ingibjörg H Jonsdottir
Göran Bergström
Per-Arne Svensson
Li-Ming Gan
Published in Physiol Genomics
Volume 22
Issue 3
Pages 319-26
ISSN 1531-2267 (Electronic) 1094-8341 (Linking)
Publication year 2005
Published at Cardiovascular Institute
Institute of Internal Medicine, Dept of Medicine
Institute of Physiology and Pharmacology, Dept of Physiology
Pages 319-26
Language en
Keywords Algorithms, Animals, Aorta, Thoracic/*metabolism, Chaperonin 60/metabolism, DNA Primers/chemistry, DNA, Complementary/metabolism, Down-Regulation, Female, *Gene Expression Profiling, *Gene Expression Regulation, HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins/metabolism, Heat-Shock Proteins/*metabolism, Immunohistochemistry, Models, Statistical, Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis, Oxidative Stress, Perfusion, *Physical Conditioning, Animal, Polymerase Chain Reaction, RNA/metabolism, Rats, Rats, Inbred SHR, Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
Subject categories Physiology


Physical exercise is considered to be beneficial for cardiovascular health. Nevertheless, the underlying specific molecular mechanisms still remain unexplored. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effects of voluntary exercise on vascular mechanical properties and gene regulation patterns in spontaneously hypertensive rats. By using ultrasound biomicroscopy in an ex vivo perfusion chamber, we studied the distensibility of the thoracic aorta. Furthermore, exercise-induced gene regulation was studied in aortae, using microarray analysis and validated with real-time PCR. We found that distensibility was significantly improved in aortas from exercising compared with control rats (P < 0.0001). Exercising rats demonstrated a striking pattern of coordinated downregulation of genes belonging to the heat shock protein family. In conclusion, voluntary exercise leads to improved vessel wall distensibility and reduced gene expression of heat shock protein 60 and 70, which may indicate decreased oxidative stress in the aortic vascular wall.

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