Fatiguing exercise initiated later in life reduces incidence of fibrillation and improves sleep quality in Drosophila.

Age (Dordrecht, Netherlands)

PubMedID: 26206392

Zheng L, Feng Y, Wen DT, Wang H, Wu XS. Fatiguing exercise initiated later in life reduces incidence of fibrillation and improves sleep quality in Drosophila. Age (Dordr). 2015;37(4):9816.
As the human body ages, the risk of heart disease and stroke greatly increases. While there is evidence that lifelong exercise is beneficial to the heart's health, the effects of beginning exercise later in life remain unclear. This study aimed to investigate whether exercise training started later in life is beneficial to cardiac aging in Drosophila. We examined 4-week-old wild-type virgin female flies that were exposed to exercise periods of either 1. 5, 2. 0, or 2. 5 h per day, 5 days a week for 2 weeks. Using M-mode traces to analyze cardiac function by looking at parameters including heart rate, rhythmicity, systolic and diastolic diameter, and interval and fractional shortening, we found that cardiac function declined with age, shown by an increase in the number of fibrillation events and a decrease in fractional shortening. About 2. 0 and 2. 5 h of exercise per day displayed a reduced incidence of fibrillation events, and only physical exercise lasting 2. 5-h period increased fractional shortening and total sleep time in Drosophila. These data suggested that training exercise needs to be performed for longer duration to exert physiological benefits for the aging heart. Additionally, climbing ability to assess the exercise-induced muscle fatigue was also measured. We found that 2. 0 and 2. 5 h of exercise caused exercise-induced fatigue, and fatiguing exercise is beneficial for cardiac and healthy aging overall. This study provides a basis for further study in humans on the impact of beginning an exercise regimen later in life on cardiac health.