The incidence of diastolic heart failure increases dramatically with age. We investigated the impact of long-term exercise training on age-related diastolic dysfunction. Old (25-month-old) male Fischer 344 rats were studied after 12 weeks of treadmill exercise training or sedentary cage life (N=7, in each group). We determined cardiac performance using a pressure-volume conductance catheter and magnetic resonance imaging. Collagen volume fraction (CVF) and myocardial collagen solubility by pepsin as an index of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) crosslinked collagen were measured. The maximal slope of systolic pressure increment (+dP/dt) and the slope of end-systolic pressure-volume relation were higher, and end diastolic volume (EDV), EDV (the percentage of the EDV increment-to-baseline EDV) and the slope of end-diastolic pressure-volume relation were lower in training group. The maximal slope of diastolic pressure decrement (-dP/dt) and time constant of LV pressure decay (τ) had no difference. AGEs cross-linked collagen, not CVF was reduced by exercise training. Long-term exercise training appears to attenuate age-related deterioration in cardiac systolic function and myocardial stiffness and could be reduce in pathologic AGEs cross-linked collagen in myocardium.
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