European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 108, Issue 3, pp 533–540 | Cite as

Resistance training improves femoral artery endothelial dysfunction in aged rats

  • M. Brennan Harris
  • Kristen N. Slack
  • David T. Prestosa
  • David J. Hryvniak
Original Article


Although endurance exercise improves age-associated endothelial dysfunction, few studies have examined the effects of resistance training and the potential molecular mechanisms involved in altering vascular reactivity with age. Young (9 months) and aged (20 months) male, Fisher 344 rats were divided into four groups: Young Sedentary (YS, n = 14), Young Trained (YT, n = 10), Aged Sedentary (AS, n = 12), and Aged Trained (AT, n = 10). Resistance training consisted of climbing a 1 m wire ladder, at an 85° angle, 3 days/week for 6 weeks with increasing weight added to the tail. Endothelial function in femoral arteries was determined by constructing acetylcholine dose–response curves on a wire myograph. Femoral artery phospho-Ser1179-eNOS, eNOS and Hsp90 expression were evaluated by Western blot. Acetylcholine-induced vasorelaxation was significantly (P < 0.05) impaired in AS compared to YS and YT but not AT compared to YS and YT. Phospho-Ser1179-eNOS and eNOS were elevated (P < 0.05) in aged animals but not changed with resistance training. Resistance training increased Hsp90 levels in both young and old animals. Therefore, resistance training improves age-associated endothelial dysfunction in femoral arteries without changes in eNOS phosphorylation and expression. Increased Hsp90 expression, a regulator of eNOS activity and coupling, suggests a potential mechanism for this improvement.


Exercise Hsp90 eNOS Nitric oxide 



This work was supported by an American Heart Association Scientist Development Grant 0430157N (M.B.H.) and The Borgenicht Program for Aging Studies and Exercise Science (M.B.H.).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Brennan Harris
    • 1
  • Kristen N. Slack
    • 1
  • David T. Prestosa
    • 1
  • David J. Hryvniak
    • 1
  1. 1.Molecular and Cardiovascular Physiology Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology & Health SciencesThe College of William & MaryWilliamsburgUSA

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