Skeletal muscle abnormalities are responsible for significant disability in the elderly. Sarcopenia is the main alteration occurring during senescence and a key public health issue as it predicts frailty, poor quality of life, and mortality. Several factors such as reduced physical activity, hormonal changes, insulin resistance, genetic susceptibility, appetite loss, and nutritional deficiencies are involved in the physiopathology of muscle changes. Sarcopenia is characterized by structural, biochemical, molecular and functional muscle changes. An imbalance between anabolic and catabolic intracellular signaling pathways and an increase in oxidative stress both play important roles in muscle abnormalities. Currently, despite the discovery of new targets and development of new drugs, nonpharmacological therapies such as physical exercise and nutritional support are considered the basis for prevention and treatment of age-associated muscle abnormalities. There has been an increase in information on signaling pathways beneficially modulated by exercise; nonetheless, studies are needed to establish the best type, intensity, and frequency of exercise to prevent or treat age-induced skeletal muscle alterations.
zoni DM, Padovani CR, Cicogna AC, Okoshi MP. Echocardiographic detection of congestive heart failure in postinfarction rats. J Appl Physiol 111: 543-551, 2011. First published May 26, 2011 doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.01154.2010.-In studies of congestive heart failure (CHF) treatment, it is essential to select animals with a similar degree of cardiac dysfunction. However, this is difficult to establish without hemodynamic evaluation in rat postinfarctioninduced CHF. This study aimed to diagnose CHF in long-term follow-up postinfarction rats using only echocardiographic criteria through a J-tree cluster analysis and Fisher's linear discriminant function. Two sets of sham and infarcted rats were studied. The first was used to perform cluster analysis and the second to prospectively validate the results. Six months after inducing myocardial infarction (MI), rats were subjected to transthoracic echocardiography. Infarct size was measured by histological analysis. Six echocardiographic variables were used in the cluster analysis: left ventricular (LV) systolic dimension, LV diastolic dimension-to-body weight ratio, left atrial diameter-to-body weight ratio, LV posterior wall shortening velocity, E wave, and isovolumetric relaxation time. Cluster analysis joined the rats into one sham and two MI groups. One MI cluster had more severe anatomical and echocardiographic changes and was called MI with heart failure (MI/HFϩ, n ϭ 24, infarct size: 42.7 Ϯ 5.8%). The other had less severe changes and was called MI without heart failure (MI/HFϪ, n ϭ 11, infarct size: 32.3 Ϯ 9.9%; P Ͻ 0.001 vs. MI/HFϩ). Three rats with small infarct size (21.6 Ϯ 2.2%) presenting mild cardiac alterations were misallocated in the sham group. Fisher's linear discriminant function was built using these groups and used to prospectively classify additional groups of shamoperated (n ϭ 20) and infarcted rats (n ϭ 57) using the same echocardiographic parameters. The discriminant function therefore detected CHF with 100% specificity and 80% sensitivity considering allocation in MI/HFϩ and sham group, and 100% specificity and 58.8% sensitivity considering MI/HFϩ and MI/HFϪ groups, taking into account pathological criteria of CHF diagnosis. Echocardiographic analysis can be used to accurately predict congestive heart failure in postinfarction rats. myocardial infarction; echocardiography; cluster analysis CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE (CHF) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Animal myocardial infarction (MI) models are considered highly relevant in pathophysiology studies and heart failure treatment, as myocardial ischemia and infarction are common causes of CHF in humans (24). The rat MI model has been extensively used in CHF experimental studies because it is practical and of relatively low cost compared with other animal models. However, rat coronary artery ligation leads to a wide range of infarct size, cardiac remodeling, and left ventricular (LV) dysfunction (37, 44). As transition from compensated LV dysfunction to CHF mainly occurs in hearts with ...
Background: Physical exercise is a strategy to control hypertension and attenuate pressure overload-induced cardiac remodeling. The influence of exercise on cardiac remodeling during uncontrolled hypertension is not established. We evaluated the effects of a long-term low intensity aerobic exercise protocol on heart failure (HF) development and cardiac remodeling in aging spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). Methods: Sixteen month old SHR (n=50) and normotensive Wistar-Kyoto (WKY, n=35) rats were divided into sedentary (SED) and exercised (EX) groups. Rats exercised in treadmill at 12 m/min, 30 min/day, 5 days/week, for four months. The frequency of HF features was evaluated at euthanasia. Statistical analyses: ANOVA and Tukey or Mann-Whitney, and Goodman test. Results: Despite slightly higher systolic blood pressure, SHR-EX had better functional capacity and lower HF frequency than SHR-SED. Echocardiography and tissue Doppler imaging showed no differences between SHR groups. In SHR-EX, however, left ventricular (LV) systolic diameter, larger in SHR-SED than WKY-SED, and endocardial fractional shortening, lower in SHR-SED than WKY-SED, had values between those in WKY-EX and SHR-SED not differing from either group. Myocardial function, assessed in LV papillary muscles, showed improvement in SHR-EX over SHR-SED and WKY-EX. LV myocardial collagen fraction and type I and III collagen gene expression were increased in SHR groups. Myocardial hydroxyproline concentration was lower in SHR-EX than SHR-SED. Lysyl oxidase gene expression was higher in SHR-SED than WKY-SED. Conclusion: Exercise improves functional capacity and reduces decompensated HF in aging SHR independent of elevated arterial pressure. Improvement in functional status is combined with attenuation of LV and myocardial dysfunction and fibrosis.
Cachexia is a prevalent pathological condition associated with chronic heart failure. Its occurrence predicts increased morbidity and mortality independent of important clinical variables such as age, ventricular function, or heart failure functional class. The clinical consequences of cachexia are dependent on both weight loss and systemic inflammation, which accompany cachexia development. Skeletal muscle wasting is an important component of cachexia; it often precedes cachexia development and predicts poor outcome in heart failure. Cachexia clinically affects several organs and systems. It is a multifactorial condition where underlying pathophysiological mechanisms are not completely understood making it difficult to develop specific prevention and treatment therapies. Preventive strategies have largely focused on muscle mass preservation. Different treatment options have been described, mostly in small clinical studies or experimental settings. These include nutritional support, neurohormonal blockade, reducing intestinal bacterial translocation, anemia and iron deficiency treatment, appetite stimulants, immunomodulatory agents, anabolic hormones, and physical exercise regimens. Currently, nonpharmacological therapy such as nutritional support and physical exercise are considered central to cachexia prevention and treatment.
We investigated the influence of myocardial collagen volume fraction (CVF, %) and hydroxyproline concentration (microg/mg) on rat papillary muscle function. Collagen excess was obtained in 10 rats with unilateral renal ischemia for 5 wk followed by 3-wk treatment with ramipril (20 mg. kg(-1). day(-1)) (RHTR rats; CVF = 3.83 +/- 0. 80, hydroxyproline = 3.79 +/- 0.50). Collagen degradation was induced by double infusion of oxidized glutathione (GSSG rats; CVF = 2.45 +/- 0.52, hydroxyproline = 2.85 +/- 0.18). Nine untreated rats were used as controls (CFV = 3.04 +/- 0.58, hydroxyproline = 3.21 +/- 0.30). Active stiffness (AS; g. cm(-2). %L(max)(-1)) and myocyte cross-sectional area (MA; micrometer(2)) were increased in the GSSG rats compared with controls [AS 5.86 vs. 3.96 (P < 0.05); MA 363 +/- 59 vs. 305 +/- 28 (P < 0.05)]. In GSSG and RHTR groups the passive tension-length curves were shifted downwards, indicating decreased passive stiffness, and upwards, indicating increased passive stiffness, respectively. Decreased collagen content induced by GSSG is related to myocyte hypertrophy, decreased passive stiffness, and increased AS, and increased collagen concentration causes myocardial diastolic dysfunction with no effect on systolic function.
Neuregulins and their erbB receptors are essential for cardiac development and postulated to be cardioprotective in the presence of injury in the postnatal heart. We tested the hypothesis that the development of doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity in vivo is more severe in mice with heterozygous knockout of the neuregulin-1 gene (NRG-1(+/-)) compared with wild-type mice (WT). Three-month old NRG-1(+/-) and WT mice were injected with a single dose of doxorubicin (20 mg/kg ip). Survival was analyzed by the Kaplan-Meier approach. Left ventricular (LV) function and signaling pathways were analyzed 4 days after treatment. Fifteen days after treatment, survival was significantly lower in doxorubicin-treated NRG-1(+/-) mice (NRG-1(+/-)-Dox) compared with doxorubicin-treated WT mice (WT-Dox) (15% vs. 33%, P < 0.01). LV mass was significantly lower in NRG-1(+/-)-Dox but not in WT-Dox compared with nontreated animals. LV systolic pressure and LV midwall fractional shortening were significantly lower in NRG-1(+/-)-Dox compared with WT-Dox mice. LV protein levels of NRG-1, erbB2, and erbB4 receptors were similar in WT-Dox and NRG-1(+/-)-Dox mice. However, levels of phosphorylated erbB2, Akt, and ERK-1/2 were significantly decreased in NRG-1(+/-)-Dox compared with WT-Dox mice. A significant decrease in phosphorylated P70S6K levels was also observed in NRG-1(+/-)-Dox compared with nontreated NRG-1(+/-) mice. These results demonstrate that heterozygous knockout of the neuregulin-1 gene worsens survival and LV function in the presence of doxorubicin-induced cardiac injury in vivo. This is associated with the depression of activation of the erbB2 receptor as well as Akt, p70S6K, and ERK-1/2 pathways.
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