Effects of physical exercise on the elasticity and elastic components of the rat aorta

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To evaluate the effects of exercise on aortic wall elasticity and elastic components, young male rats underwent various exercise regimes for 16 weeks. In the exercised rats, the aortic incremental elastic modulus decreased significantly when under physiological strain. The aortic content of elastin increased significantly and the calcium content of elastin decreased significantly in the exercised group. The accumulated data from the exercised and sedentary groups revealed that the elastin calcium content was related positively to the incremental elastic modulus. We concluded that physical exercise from an early age decreases the calcium deposit in aortic wall elastin and that this effect probably produced in the exercised rats a distensible aorta.