de Waard MC, Duncker DJ. Prior exercise improves survival, infarct healing, and left ventricular function after myocardial infarction. J Appl Physiol 107: 928-936, 2009; doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.91281.2008.-We investigated the effects of voluntary wheel running before an acute myocardial infarction (MI) on survival, left ventricular (LV) remodeling and dysfunction and whether exercise before and after MI provides superior protection compared with either exercise intervention alone. After 2 wk of voluntary wheel running or sedentary housing, MI was induced in C57B1/6 mice, after which exercise was stopped (EX-MI-SED and SED-MI-SED groups, where EX is exercise and SED is sedentary) or continued (EX-MI-EX and SED-MI-EX groups) for a period of 8 wk. Exercise after MI in SED-MI-EX mice had no effect on survival, the area of infarction, and global LV remodeling, but attenuated fibrosis and apoptosis in the remote myocardium and blunted LV dysfunction and pulmonary congestion compared with SED-MI-SED mice. Exercise before MI in both EX-MI-SED and EX-MI-EX mice decreased post-MI mortality compared with both SED-MI-SED and SED-MI-EX mice. Furthermore, in both pre-MI exercise groups, the infarct area was thicker, whereas interstitial fibrosis and apoptosis in the remote LV myocardium were blunted. In contrast, the ameliorating effects of either pre-MI or post-MI exercise alone on LV dysfunction were lost in EX-MI-EX mice, which may in part be related to the increased daily exercise distance in the first week post-MI in EX-MI-EX versus SED-MI-EX mice. In conclusion, exercise before or after MI blunted LV dysfunction, whereas only exercise before MI improved survival. These findings suggest that even when regular physical activity fails to prevent an acute MI, it can still act to improve cardiac function and survival after MI.
- EMC COEUR-09