The effect of exercise on angiogenic factors in the healthy mouse heart: A short report

Christina Karazisi, Aron Onerup, Pia Larsson, Lena Karlsson, Mats Bor̈jesson, Smita DuttaRoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Background: Exercise increases blood levels of crucial angiogenic factors and endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs). Hypoxia inducible factor-1 (HIF-1a) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) are also increased in skeletal muscle in response to exercise. In the healthy heart, voluntary exercise is not expected to cause local hypoxia. We studied how voluntary exercise affects cardiac expression of HIF-1a, VEGF and stromal derived factor-1 (SDF-1), as well as EPC levels in heart and skeletal muscle. Method: Thirty-two NMRI mice were randomized to exercise in running wheels (EX) or regular activity (SED). HIF-1a, VEGF and SDF-1 mRNA levels were analyzed by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and EPC levels in heart and hind limb were quantified by FACS after 7 and 14 days. Results: There was no significant difference in cardiac expression of HIF-1a, VEGF or SDF-1 between EX and SED. Cardiac EPC levels were not affected by exercise, while skeletal EPC level was more than doubled. Conclusion: Voluntary exercise does not seem to induce cardiac hypoxia or stimulate the angiogenic system. In the healthy normoxic heart, there is a limited need of supporting blood supply, which might explain these findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2332-2341
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental and Clinical Cardiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Endothelial progenitor cells
  • Exercise
  • Heart

Cite this