Introduction: The effects of exercise on the heart and its resistance to disease are well-documented. Recent studies have identified that exercise-induced resistance to arrhythmia is due to the preservation of mitochondrial membrane potential. Objectives: To identify novel metabolic changes that occur parallel to these mitochondrial alterations, we performed non-targeted metabolomics analysis on hearts from sedentary and exercise-trained rats challenged with isolated heart ischemia–reperfusion injury (I/R). Methods: Eight-week old Sprague–Dawley rats were treadmill trained 5 days/week for 6 weeks (exercise duration and intensity progressively increased to 1 h at 30 m/min up a 10.5% incline, 75–80% VO2max). The recovery of pre-ischemic function for sedentary rat hearts was 28.8 ± 5.4% (N = 12) compared to exercise trained hearts, which recovered 51.9% ± 5.7 (N = 14) (p < 0.001). Results: Non-targeted GC–MS metabolomics analysis of (1) sedentary rat hearts; (2) exercise-trained rat hearts; (3) sedentary rat hearts challenged with global ischemia–reperfusion (I/R) injury; and (4) exercise-trained rat hearts challenged with global I/R (10/group) revealed 15 statistically significant metabolites between groups by ANOVA using Metaboanalyst (p < 0.001). Enrichment analysis of these metabolites for pathway-associated metabolic sets indicated a > 10-fold enrichment for ammonia recycling and protein biosynthesis. Subsequent comparison of the sedentary hearts post-I/R and exercise-trained hearts post-I/R further identified significant differences in three metabolites (oleic acid, pantothenic acid, and campesterol) related to pantothenate and CoA biosynthesis (p ≤ 1.24E−05, FDR ≤ 5.07E−4). Conclusions: These studies shed light on novel mechanisms in which exercise-induced cardioprotection occurs in I/R that complement both the mitochondrial stabilization and antioxidant mechanisms recently described. These findings also link protein synthesis and protein degradation (protein quality control mechanisms) with exercise-linked cardioprotection and mitochondrial susceptibility for the first time in cardiac I/R.
- Ischemia/reperfusion injury
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry