Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2018) 17, 580 - 588

Research article
The Effects of Exercise Training and High Triglyceride Diet in an Estrogen Depleted Rat Model: The Role of the Heme Oxygenase System and Inflammatory Processes in Cardiovascular Risk
Csaba Varga1, Médea Veszelka1, Krisztina Kupai1, Denise Börzsei1, Zoltán Deim1, Renáta Szabó4, Szilvia Török1, Dániel Priksz2, Rudolf Gesztelyi2, Béla Juhász2, Zsolt Radák3, Anikó Pósa4, 
Author Information
1 Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Neuroscience, University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary
2 Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy, University of Debrecen, Debrecen, Hungary
3 Institute of Sport Science, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Science, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary
4 University of Szeged, Interdisciplinary Excellence Centre, Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Neuroscience,

Anikó Pósa
✉ University of Szeged, Kozep fasor 52, Szeged, H-6726, Hungary
Email: paniko@bio.u-szeged
Publish Date
Received: 26-03-2018
Accepted: 31-08-2018
Published (online): 20-11-2018
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Cardiovascular morbidity and mortality of premenopausal women are significantly lower compared to men of similar age. However, this protective effect evidently decreases after the onset of menopause. We hypothesized that physical exercise could be a potential therapeutic strategy to improve inflammatory processes and cardiovascular antioxidant homeostasis, which can be affected by the loss of estrogen and the adverse environmental factors, such as overnutrition. Ovariectomized (OVX, n= 40) and sham-operated (SO, n= 40) female Wistar rats were randomized to exercising (R) and non-exercising (NR) groups. Feeding parameters were chosen to make a standard chow (CTRL) or a high triglyceride diet (HT) for 12 weeks. Aortic and cardiac heme oxygenase (HO) activity and HO-1 concentrations significantly decreased in all of the NR OVX and SO HT groups. However, the 12-week physical exercise was found to improve HO-1 values. Plasma IL-6 concentrations were higher in the NR OVX animals and rats fed HT diet compared to SO CTRL rats. TNF-α concentrations were significantly higher in the NR OVX groups. 12 weeks of exercise significantly reduced the concentrations of both TNF-α and IL-6 compared to the NR counterparts. The activity of myeloperoxidase enzyme (MPO) was significantly increased as a result of OVX and HT diet, however voluntary wheel-running exercise restored the elevated values. Our results show that estrogen deficiency and HT diet caused a significant decrease in the activity and concentration of HO enzyme, as well as the concentrations of TNF-α, IL-6, and the activity of MPO. However, 12 weeks of voluntary wheel-running exercise is a potential non-pharmacological therapy to ameliorate these disturbances, which determine the life expectancy of postmenopausal women.

Key words: Heme oxygenase, running, menopause, inflammation, nutrition, antioxidant

           Key Points
  • Estrogen depletion (OVX) and high-triglyceride (HT) diet enhance the inflammatory response.
  • OVX and HT diet decrease the activity and expression of the antioxidant heme oxygenase enzyme.
  • 12 weeks of exercise training is a potential non-pharmacological treatment against post-menopausal disorders.
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