Effects of a short-term exercise training on serum factors involved in ventricular remodelling in chronic heart failure patients

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Objectives: We studied the effect of a short-term (3 weeks) exercise training program on the number of circulating CD34/KDR + endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) and on serum levels of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) in chronic heart failure (CHF) patients as well as on serum capacity to foster colony forming units-endothelial cells (CFU-ECs) in vitro. Methods: Effectiveness of training was assessed by the 6-minute walking test (6MWT). Peripheral blood and serum were obtained from fourteen patients with CHF due to coronary artery disease before and after an inpatient aerobic exercise training program. At admission and at discharge we analysed circulating EPC number and serum levels of MMPs, TIMP-1 and TNF-α. The number and function of CFU-EC colonies were evaluated in cultures performed with serum obtained before and after training. Results: After training, distance walked at 6MWT and number of circulating CD34/KDR + cells increased (from 154 ± 27 to 233 ± 48 m; P <0.0001 and from 5 ± 3 to 9 ± 6 cells/ml P <0.05, respectively). Conversely, serum concentrations of MMP-1 and TIMP-1 decreased significantly (from 11.4 ± 2.4 to 6.3 ± 1.1 ng/ml, and from 320.4 ± 41.2 to 167.2 ± 12.6 ng/ml, respectively, both P <0.01), while MMP2/TIMP-1 and MMP-9/TIMP-1 ratios increased. Interestingly, we found increased CFU-EC proliferation in cultures performed with serum obtained after training. Conclusions: Considering that both EPCs and MMPs might play a role in vascular remodeling, the increased number of EPCs and MMP activities observed in this study, suggest that the selected short-term exercise training could be a potential therapeutic strategy to rescue cardiac function in CHF patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-413
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 22 2012


  • Chronic heart failure
  • Endothelial progenitor cells
  • Exercise training
  • Metalloproteinases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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