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Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research

Print version ISSN 0100-879XOn-line version ISSN 1414-431X


AMARAL, S.L. et al. Time course of training-induced microcirculatory changes and of vegf expression in skeletal muscles of spontaneously hypertensive female rats. Braz J Med Biol Res [online]. 2008, vol.41, n.5, pp.424-431. ISSN 1414-431X.

Exercise-induced vessel changes modulate arterial pressure (AP) in male spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is important for angiogenesis of skeletal muscle. The present study evaluated the time course of VEGF and angiogenesis after short- and long-term exercise training of female SHR and Wistar Kyoto (WKY) rats, 8-9 weeks (200-250 g). Rats were allocated to daily training or remained sedentary for 3 days (N = 23) or 13 weeks (N = 23). After training, the carotid artery was catheterized for AP measurements. Locomotor (tibialis anterior and gracilis) and non-locomotor skeletal muscles (temporalis) were harvested and prepared for histologic and protein expression analyses. Training increased treadmill performance by all groups (SHR = 28%, WKY = 64%, 3 days) and (SHR = 141%, WKY = 122%, 13 weeks). SHR had higher values of AP than WKY (174 ± 4 vs 111 ± 2 mmHg) that were not altered by training. Three days of running increased VEGF expression (SHR = 28%, WKY = 36%) simultaneously with an increase in capillary-to-fiber ratio in gracilis muscle (SHR = 19%, WKY = 15%). In contrast, 13 weeks of training increased gracilis capillary-to-fiber ratio (SHR = 18%, WKY = 19%), without simultaneous changes in VEGF expression. Training did not change VEGF expression and capillarity of temporalis muscle. We conclude that training stimulates time- and tissue-dependent VEGF protein expression, independent of pressure levels. VEGF triggers angiogenesis in locomotor skeletal muscle shortly after the exercise starts, but is not involved in the maintenance of capillarity after long-term exercise in female rats.

Keywords : High blood pressure; Exercise training; Capillary density; VEGF expression; Skeletal muscle angiogenesis.

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