2010 Volume 17 Issue 12 Pages 1226-1236
Aim: A sedentary lifestyle with insufficient exercise is associated with cardiovascular disease. Previous studies have demonstrated that endurance exercise benefits atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disorders; however, the mechanisms by which physical activity, such as voluntary exercise (Ex), produces these effects are not fully understood.
Methods and Results: Eight-week-old male apolipoprotein (ApoE)-deficient mice were fed a standard diet (STD) or high fat diet (HFD) for 10 weeks. The HFD+Ex group mice performed Ex on a running wheel for 10 weeks. No significant differences in lipid profiles were observed between the HFD and HFD+Ex groups. Although changes in body and brown adipose tissue weights were comparable between the HFD and HFD+Ex groups, white adipose tissue weight was significantly lower in the HFD+Ex group than in the HFD group. The areas of atherosclerotic lesions in the aortic sinus and thoracoabdominal aorta were significantly reduced in the HFD+Ex group than in the HFD group (p<0.001). There was a strong negative correlation between atherosclerotic areas and the mean running distance per day in the HFD+Ex group (r=-0.90, p=0.01). Endothelial function was significantly preserved in the HFD+Ex group (p<0.05). Serum interleukin-6 and macrophage chemoattractant protein-1 levels were significantly lower and those of adiponectin were significantly higher in the HFD+Ex group than in the HFD group (p<0.05).
Conclusions: These results suggest that Ex ameliorates the progression of endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerotic lesion formation through anti-inflammatory effects, despite continued consumption of HFD.