Aerobic training affects fatty acid composition of erythrocyte membranes

Marina Marini, Provvidenza M. Abruzzo, Alessandra Bolotta, Arsenio Veicsteinas, Carla Ferreri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effect of exercise training on the fatty acid composition of erythrocyte membranes was evaluated in an experimental animal model where rats were subjected to a ten-wk aerobic training. Five groups of rats were compared: sedentary rats at 19 or 23 wks of age, rats trained at moderate or high intensity sacrificed at 19 wks of age, and rats trained at high intensity, and sacrificed following 4 weeks of sedentary life. We had already demonstrated that cardioprotection correlates with training intensity and partially persists in detrained rats. Main findings are that rats trained at higher intensity display consistent signs of lipid peroxidation but a lower ω6/ω3 ratio and a lower content of trans fatty acids when compared to rats trained at lower intensity and to older sedentary rats. Trans fatty acids negatively affect cell membrane fluidity and permeability. Detrained rats showed intermediate values. Gene expression evaluation of selected enzymes involved in lipid biosynthesis revealed some of the adaptive mechanisms leading to the maintenance of membrane fatty acid homeostasis following exercise. The decrease in the amount of trans fatty and in the inflammatory pathways (i.e. ω6/ω3 ratio) in high-intensity trained rats underscores the protective effect of high intensity aerobic training.

Original languageEnglish
Article number188
JournalLipids in Health and Disease
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • aerobic training
  • erythrocyte membrane
  • lipidomics
  • rats
  • trans fatty acids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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