The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of exercise training on cardiac Fas receptor-dependent and mitochondria-dependent apoptotic pathways in ovariectomized rats. Histopathological analysis, TUNEL assay, and Western blotting were performed on the excised hearts from three groups of Sprague-Dawley rats, which were divided into a sham-operated group, a bilaterally ovariectomized group (OVX), and a bilaterally ovariectomized group that underwent treadmill running exercise for 60 min/day, 5 sessions/wk, for 10 wk (OVX-EX). The abnormal myocardial architecture, cardiac trichome-stained fibrosis and cardiac TUNEL-positive apoptotic cells in ovariectomized rats improved after exercise training. The protein levels of tumor necrosis factor-α, tumor necrosis factor receptor 1, Fas ligand, Fas receptors, Fas-associated death domain, activated caspase-8 and activated caspase-3 (Fas receptor-dependent apoptotic pathways), as well as t-Bid, Bad, Bak, Bax, cytosolic cytochrome c, activated caspase-9, and activated caspase-3 (mitochondria-dependent apoptotic pathways) were decreased in the OVX-EX group compared with the OVX group. Exercise training suppressed ovariectomy-induced cardiac Fas receptor-dependent and mitochondria-dependent apoptotic pathways in ovariectomized rat models. These findings might indicate a new therapeutic effect for exercise training to prevent cardiac apoptosis in menopausal or bilaterally oophorectomized women.
- cell death
- treadmill training
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