Chronic exercise downregulates myocardial myoglobin and attenuates nitrite reductase capacity during ischemia-reperfusion

Chad K. Nicholson, Jonathan P. Lambert, Chi Wing Chow, David J. Lefer, John W. Calvert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The infarct sparing effects of exercise are evident following both long-term and short-term training regimens. Here we compared the infarct-lowering effects of nitrite therapy, voluntary exercise, and the combination of both following myocardial ischemia-reperfusion (MI/R) injury. We also compared the degree to which each strategy increased cardiac nitrite levels, as well as the effects of each strategy on the nitrite reductase activity of the heart. Mice subjected to voluntary wheel running (VE) for 4. weeks displayed an 18% reduction in infarct size when compared to sedentary mice, whereas mice administered nitrite therapy (25. mg/L in drinking water) showed a 53% decrease. However, the combination of VE and nitrite exhibited no further protection than VE alone. Although the VE and nitrite therapy mice showed similar nitrite levels in the heart, cardiac nitrite reductase activity was significantly reduced in the VE mice. Additionally, the cardiac protein expression of myoglobin, a known nitrite reductase, was also reduced after VE. Further studies revealed that cardiac NFAT activity was lower after VE due to a decrease in calcineurin activity and an increase in GSK3β activity. These data suggest that VE downregulates cardiac myoglobin levels by inhibiting calcineurin/NFAT signaling. Additionally, these results suggest that the modest infarct sparing effects of VE are the result of a decrease in the hearts ability to reduce nitrite to nitric oxide during MI/R.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • Calcineurin/NFAT signaling
  • Exercise
  • Myocardial ischemia-reperfusion
  • Myoglobin
  • Nitric oxide
  • Nitrite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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