Exercise training in adverse cardiac remodeling

Dirk-jan Duncker, Elza Deel, Monique Waard, Maarten Boer, Daphne Merkus, J Velden

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Cardiac remodeling in response to a myocardial infarction or chronic pressure-overload is an independent risk factor for the development of heart failure. In contrast, cardiac remodeling produced by regular physical exercise is associated with a decreased risk for heart failure. There is evidence that exercise training has a beneficial effect on disease progression and survival in patients with cardiac remodeling and dysfunction, but concern has also been expressed that exercise training may aggravate pathological remodeling and dysfunction. Here we present studies from our laboratory into the effects of exercise training on pathological cardiac remodeling and dysfunction in mice. The results indicate that even in the presence of a large infarct, exercise training exerts beneficial effects on the heart. These effects were mimicked in part by endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) overexpression and abrogated by eNOS deficiency, demonstrating the importance of nitric oxide signaling in mediating the cardiac effects of exercise. Exercise prior to a myocardial infarction was also cardioprotective. In contrast, exercise tended to aggravate pathological cardiac remodeling and dysfunction in the setting of pressure-overload produced by an aortic stenosis. These observations emphasize the critical importance of the underlying pathological stimulus for cardiac hypertrophy and remodeling, in determining the effects of exercise training. Future studies are needed to define the influence of exercise type, intensity and duration in different models and severities of pathological cardiac remodeling. Together such studies will aid in optimizing the therapy of exercise training in the setting of cardiovascular disease.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1079-1091
Number of pages13
JournalPflugers Archiv-European Journal of Physiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Research programs

  • EMC COEUR-09


Dive into the research topics of 'Exercise training in adverse cardiac remodeling'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this