Microvascular and myocardial contractile responses to ischemia: Influence of exercise training

J. David Symons, Stephen V. Rendig, Charles L Stebbins, John C. Longhurst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


We hypothesized that exercise training preserves endothelium-dependent relaxation, lessens receptor-mediated constriction of coronary resistance arteries, and reduces myocardial contractile dysfunction in response to ischemia. After 10 wk of treadmill running or cage confinement, regional and global indexes of left ventricular contractile function were not different between trained and sedentary animals in response to three 15-min periods of ischemia (long-term; n = 17), one 5-min bout of ischemia (short-term; n = 18), or no ischemia (sham-operated; n = 24). Subsequently, coronary resistance vessels (~106 ± 4 μm ID) were isolated and studied using wire myographs. Maximal ACh-evoked relaxation was ~25, 40, and 60% of KCl-induced preconstriction after the longterm, short-term, and sham-operated protocols, respectively, and was similar between groups. Maximal sodium nitroprusside- evoked relaxation also was similar between groups among all protocols, and vasoconstrictor responses to endothelin-1 and U-46619 were not different in trained and sedentary rats after short-term ischemia or sham operation. We did observe that, after long-term ischemia, maximal tension development in response to endothelin-1 and U-46619 was blunted (P < 0.05) in trained animals by ~70 and ~160%, respectively. These results support our hypothesis that exercise training lessens receptor-mediated vasoconstriction of coronary resistance vessels after ischemia and reperfusion. However, training did not preserve endothelial function of coronary resistance vessels, or myocardial contractile function, after ischemia and reperfusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-442
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2000


  • Acetylcholine
  • Coronary resistance arteries
  • Coronary vascular function
  • Endothelin-1
  • Endothelium
  • Myocardial function
  • Sodium nitroprusside
  • Thromboxane A
  • U-46619
  • Vascular smooth muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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