Endurance training in rats with chronic heart failure induced by myocardial infarction

T. I. Musch, R. L. Moore, D. J. Leathers, A. Bruno, R. Zelis

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84 Scopus citations


The response to exercise was investigated in trained and sedentary rats with moderate compensated heart failure produced by myocardial infarction (MI) and in rats that underwent sham operations. Trained rats ran on a treadmill (10% grade at 20 m/min) for 60 min/day, 5 days/week for 10 to 12 weeks, whereas sedentary rats had only limited activity. Maximal oxygen consumption normalized for body weight (ml kg-1 min-1) was determined for each rat and found to be (1) greater in trained rats when compared with sedentary rats and (2) greater in sham-operated rats when compared with their counterparts that suffered infarction. In addition, skeletal muscle succinate dehydrogenase activities were greater and the blood lactic acid response to submaximal exercise was lower in trained rats compared with sedentary rats. Left ventricular infarct size for sedentary and trained rats with infarction was 36 ± 3% and 34 ± 3% of the total endocardial circumference, respectively, and resulted in (1) elevated left ventricular end-diastolic pressures at rest and during exercise, (2) lower mean arterial pressures at rest, and (3) lower maximal heart rates when compared with those in their sham-operated counterparts. However, normalization of mean arterial pressures during submaximal and maximal exercise was found along with a trend toward normalization of maximal heart rate when trained rats with infarction were compared with their sedentary counterparts. Blood flows to the kidneys, organs of the gut, and skeletal muscle during both submaximal and maximal exercise were unaffected by either myocardial infarction or training; no differences between sedentary and trained rats with infarction and sedentary and trained sham-operated rats were found. These results demonstrate that an exercise training program of moderate intensity produces beneficial hemodynamic and metabolic effects in rats with moderate compensated heart failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)431-441
Number of pages11
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1986

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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