Old age-associated osteoporosis is related to diminished bone blood flow and impaired nitric oxide (NO)-mediated vasodilation of the bone vasculature. Endurance exercise training restores the age-associated reduction of vasodilation in numerous vascular beds, as well as improving bone properties. The purpose of this study was to determine whether functional improvements in the bone vasculature are associated with increased bone properties after an endurance training intervention. Young adult (4-6 months) and old (24-26 months) male Fischer-344 rats remained sedentary or were trained (15 m/min walking, 15° incline, 5 days/week, 10-12 weeks). Endothelium-dependent vasodilation of the femoral principal nutrient artery (PNA) was assessed in vitro using acetylcholine (ACh) and inhibitors of NO synthase (NOS) and cyclooxygenase (COX). PNA endothelium-dependent vasodilation was greater after training by 16% in young and by 24% in old animals. The NOS-mediated contribution to endothelium-dependent vasodilation was enhanced by 77% after training in old rats. Distal femur trabecular bone volume (BV/TV, %) was lower with old age in sedentary animals (young: 27 ± 2%, old: 23 ± 1%; P<0.05). Exercise-induced elevations in bone and marrow blood flow and the NOS signaling pathway were associated with greater BV/TV (young trained: 34 ± 2%, old trained: 26 ± 1%; P<0.05) relative to sedentary groups. These data demonstrate that training-induced increases in bone properties are associated with enhanced endothelium-dependent vasodilation through a NOS signaling pathway in the bone vasculature.
- Blood flow
- Nitric oxide
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism