- Alsahly, Musaad B; Zakari, Madaniah O; Koch, Lauren G; Britton, Steven; Katwa, Laxmansa C; Fisher-Wellman, Kelsey; Lust, Robert M
- Regular active exercise is considered therapeutic for cardiovascular disease, in part by increasing mitochondrial respiratory capacity, but a significant amount of exercise capacity is determined genetically. Animal models, demonstrating either high capacity aerobic running (HCR) or low capacity aerobic running (LCR) phenotypes, have been developed to study the intrinsic contribution, with HCR rats subsequently characterized as "disease resistant" and the LCRs as "disease prone." Enhanced cardioprotection in HCRs has been variable and mutifactoral, but likely includes a metabolic component. These studies were conducted to determine the influence of intrinsic aerobic phenotype on cardiac mitochondrial function before and after ischemia and reperfusion. A total of 34 HCR and LCR rats were obtained from the parent colony at the University of Toledo, housed under sedentary conditions, and fed normal chow. LCR and HCR animals were randomly assigned to either control or ischemia-reperfusion (IR). On each study day, one HCR/LCR pair was anesthetized, and hearts were rapidly excised. In IR animals, the hearts were immediately flushed with iced hyperkalemic, hyperosmotic, cardioplegia solution, and subjected to global hypothermic ischemic arrest (80 min). Following the arrest, the hearts underwent warm reperfusion (120 min) using a Langendorff perfusion system. Following reperfusion, the heart was weighed and the left ventricle (LV) was isolated. A midventricular ring was obtained to estimate infarction size [triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC)] and part of the remaining tissue (~150 mg) was transferred to a homogenation buffer on ice. Isolated mitochondria (MITO) samples were prepared and used to determine respiratory capacity under different metabolic conditions. In control animals, MITO were obtained and prepared similarly immediately following anesthesia and heart removal, but without IR. In the control rats, both resting and maximally stimulated respiratory rates were higher (32 and 40%, respectively; < 0.05) in HCR mitochondria compared to LCR. After IR, resting MITO respiratory rates were decreased to about 10% of control in both strains, and the augmented capacity in HCRs was absent. Maximally stimulated rates also were decreased more than 50% from control and were no longer different between phenotypes. Ca retention capacity and infarct size were not significantly different between HCR and LCR (49.2 ± 5.6 vs. 53.7 ± 4.9%), nor was average coronary flow during reperfusion or arrhythmogenesis. There was a significant loss of mitochondria following IR, which was coupled with decreased function in the remaining mitochondria in both strains. Cardiac mitochondrial capacity from HCR was significantly higher than LCR in the controls under each condition. After IR insult, the cardiac mitochondrial respiratory rates were similar between phenotypes, as was Ca retention capacity, infarct size, and arrhythmogenicity, despite the increased mitochondrial capacity in the HCRs before ischemia. Relatively, the loss of respiratory capacity was actually greater in HCR than LCR. These data could suggest limits in the extent to which the HCR phenotype might be "protective" against acute tissue stressors. The extent to which any of these deficits could be "rescued" by adding an active exercise component to the intrinsic phenotype is unknown.
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