Treadmill Exercise Training Improves Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Expression in the Cardiac Muscle of Type I Diabetic Rats

Nour S. Erekat, Muhammed D. Al-Jarrah, Ahed J. Al Khatib


Background: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression is a potent mitogen for endothelial cells that is involved in angiogenesis. Cardiac VEGF is decreased in many pathologic conditions, including diabetes mellitus and aging. Exercise training has improved VEGF expression in the aging heart. Thus, the aim of our study is to illustrate the impact of treadmill exercise training on the cardiac VEGF expression in type I diabetic rats.

Methods: Twenty normal Sprague-Dawley rats and Sprague-Dawley rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes were divided into the following equal groups: sedentary control (SC), exercised control (EC), sedentary diabetic rats (SD) and exercised diabetic rats (ED). Immunohistochemistry was used to investigate VEGF expression in the cardiac tissue in each of the four different groups.

Results: Cardiac VEGF expression was significantly (P < 0.05) lower in SD compared with that in SC. However, exercise training significantly (P < 0.01) enhanced VEGF expression in the cardiac tissue in ED compared with that in SD.

Conclusion: Our present data suggest that treadmill exercise training improved diabetes-induced downregulation in the cardiac VEGF expression.

Cardiol Res. 2014;5(1):23-29


Type I diabetes; VEGF; Cardiac muscle

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