Sex modifies exercise and cardiac adaptation in mice

John P. Konhilas, Alexander H. Maass, Stephen W. Luckey, Brian L. Stauffer, Eric N. Olson, Leslie A. Leinwand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

102 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

How an individual's sex and genetic background modify cardiac adaptation to increased work-load is a topic of great interest. We systematically evaluated morphological and physiological cardiac adaptation in response to voluntary and forced exercise. We found that sex/gender is a dominant factor in exercise performance (in two exercise paradigms and two mouse strains) and that females of one of these strains have greater capacity to increase their cardiac mass in response to similar amounts of exercise. To explore the biochemical mechanisms for these differences, we examined signaling pathways previously implicated in cardiac hypertrophy. Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CaMK) activity was significantly greater in males compared with females and increased after voluntary cage-wheel exposure in both sexes, but the proportional increase in CaMK activity was twofold higher in females compared with males. Phosphorylation of glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) was evident after 7 days of cage-wheel exposure in both sexes and remained elevated in females only by 21 days of exercise. Despite moderate increases in myocyte enhancer factor-2 (a downstream effector of CaMK) transcriptional activity and phosphorylation of Akt with exercise, there were no sex differences. Mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling components (p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and extracellular regulated kinase 1/2) were not different between male and female mice and were not affected by exercise. We conclude that females have increased exercise capacity and increased hypertrophic response to exercise. We have also identified sex-specific differences in hypertrophic signaling within the cardiac myocyte that may contribute to sexual dimorphism in exercise and cardiac adaptation to exercise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Volume287
Issue number6 56-6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2004

Fingerprint

Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases
Sex Characteristics
MEF2 Transcription Factors
Phosphorylation
Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3
Physiological Adaptation
Cardiomegaly
p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
Workload
Cardiac Myocytes
Phosphotransferases

Keywords

  • Calmodulin
  • Glycogen
  • Hypertrophy
  • Myocyte signaling
  • Workload

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology

Cite this

Sex modifies exercise and cardiac adaptation in mice. / Konhilas, John P.; Maass, Alexander H.; Luckey, Stephen W.; Stauffer, Brian L.; Olson, Eric N.; Leinwand, Leslie A.

In: American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology, Vol. 287, No. 6 56-6, 12.2004.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Konhilas, John P. ; Maass, Alexander H. ; Luckey, Stephen W. ; Stauffer, Brian L. ; Olson, Eric N. ; Leinwand, Leslie A. / Sex modifies exercise and cardiac adaptation in mice. In: American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology. 2004 ; Vol. 287, No. 6 56-6.
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