Training induces nonuniform increases in eNOS content along the coronary arterial tree

Academic Article


  • Exercise training produces enhanced nitric oxide (NO)-dependent, endothelium-mediated vasodilator responses of porcine coronary arterioles but not conduit coronary arteries. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that exercise training increases the amount of endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) in the coronary arterial microcirculation but not in the conduit coronary arteries. Miniature swine were either exercise trained or remained sedentary for 16-20 wk. Exercise-trained pigs exhibited increased skeletal muscle oxidative capacity, exercise tolerance, and heart weight-to-body weight ratios. Content of eNOS protein was determined with immunoblot analysis in conduit coronary arteries (2- to 3-mm ID), small arteries (301- to 1,000-μm ID), resistance arteries (151- to 300-μm ID), and three sizes of coronary arterioles [large (101- to 150-μm ID), intermediate (51- to 100-μm ID), and small (<50-μm ID)]. Immunoblots revealed increased eNOS protein in some sizes of coronary arteries and arterioles but not in others. Content of eNOS was increased by 60-80% in small and large arterioles, resistance arteries, and small arteries; was increased by 10-20% in intermediate-sized arterioles; and was not changed or decreased in conduit arteries. Immunohistochemistry revealed that eNOS was located in the endothelial cells in all sizes of coronary artery. We conclude that exercise training increases eNOS protein expression in a nonuniform manner throughout the coronary arterial tree. Regional differences in shear stress and intraluminal pressures during exercise training bouts may be responsible for the distribution of increased eNOS protein content in the coronary arterial tree.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Laughlin MH; Pollock JS; Amann JF; Hollis ML; Woodman CR; Price EM
  • Start Page

  • 501
  • End Page

  • 510
  • Volume

  • 90
  • Issue

  • 2