Several conditions of heart disease, including heart failure and diabetic cardiomyopathy, are associated with upregulation of cytosolic Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKIIδC) activity. In the heart, CaMKIIδC isoform targets several proteins involved in intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis. We hypothesized that high-intensity endurance training activates mechanisms that enable a rescue of dysfunctional cardiomyocyte Ca2+ handling and thereby ameliorate cardiac dysfunction despite continuous and chronic elevated levels of CaMKIIδC. CaMKIIδC transgenic (TG) and wild-type (WT) mice performed aerobic interval exercise training over 6 wk. Cardiac function was measured by echocardiography in vivo, and cardiomyocyte shortening and intracellular Ca2+ handling were measured in vitro. TG mice had reduced global cardiac function, cardiomyocyte shortening (47% reduced compared with WT, P < 0.01), and impaired Ca2+ homeostasis. Despite no change in the chronic elevated levels of CaMKIIδC, exercise improved global cardiac function, restored cardiomyocyte shortening, and reestablished Ca2+ homeostasis to values not different from WT. The key features to explain restored Ca2+ homeostasis after exercise training were increased L-type Ca2+ current density and flux by 79 and 85%, respectively (P < 0.01), increased sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA2a) function by 50% (P < 0.01), and reduced diastolic SR Ca2+ leak by 73% (P < 0.01), compared with sedentary TG mice. In conclusion, exercise training improves global cardiac function as well as cardiomyocyte function in the presence of a maintained high CaMKII activity. The main mechanisms of exercise-induced improvements in TG CaMKIIδC mice are mediated via increased L-type Ca2+ channel currents and improved SR Ca2+ handling by restoration of SERCA2a function in addition to reduced diastolic SR Ca2+ leak.
- calcium handling
- CaM kinase
- exercise training
- heart disease
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