Treadmill running and swimming imposes distinct cardiovascular physiological adaptations in the rat: focus on serotonergic and sympathetic nervous systems modulation.

Acta physiologica Hungarica

PubMedID: 19009912

Baptista S, Piloto N, Reis F, Teixeira-de-Lemos E, Garrido AP, Dias A, Lourenço M, Palmeiro A, Ferrer-Antunes C, Teixeira F. Treadmill running and swimming imposes distinct cardiovascular physiological adaptations in the rat: focus on serotonergic and sympathetic nervous systems modulation. Acta Physiol Hung. 2008;95(4):365-81.
Physical exercise may improve the metabolic and haemodynamic responses, but the beneficial effects seem to depend on intensity, duration and muscular mass recruitment, which may vary between different types of protocols. This study was performed to evaluate the effects of two distinct moderate/long-term aerobic training protocols in the normal Wistar rat, the treadmill running and the swimming, on several important parameters related to cardiovascular (CV) physiological adaptations, namely: lipid profile, haemorheological measures, lipid peroxidation, peripheral serotonergic system (SS) modulation and sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activation. In both groups under training an HDL-c increment versus the sedentary control was demonstrated. There was a noticeable increase in ADP-induced platelet aggregation in the exercised rats, together with higher PDW and MPV values. The RBC patterns were altered in both groups under training; in the swimming one, however, significantly higher RBC and HCT and lower MCH and MCHC values were found, suggesting renovation of the RBCs. Plasma and platelet SS measures were generally higher in both groups under training, being noticeably relevant the 5-HT and 5-HIAA increment in the treadmill. In opposition, concerning the plasma and platelet NE and E concentrations, the rise was remarkably higher in the rats under a swimming protocol. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that, despite the similar beneficial effects on lipid profile, different aerobic exercise protocols may produce distinct CV physiological adaptations. Therefore, treadmill running was more influent than swimming concerning peripheral SS modulation while swimming was more important on SNS activation, thus recommending a judicious choice of the protocol to be tested in works which make use of rat models of exercise to study physiological or pathophysiological conditions.