Biology Faculty Articles


Cardiac performance, biomarkers and gene expression studies in previously sedentary men participating in half-marathon training

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation


Gene expression, Exercise, Cardiovascular, Response








BACKGROUND: The mechanisms through which exercise reduces cardiovascular disease are not fully understood. We used echocardiograms, cardiac biomarkers and gene expression to investigate cardiovascular effects associated with exercise training.

METHODS: Nineteen sedentary men (22-37 years) completed a 17-week half-marathon training program. Serial measurements of resting heart rate, blood pressure, maximum oxygen consumption, lipids, C-reactive protein, cardiac troponin T, echocardiograms and blood for gene expression were obtained from baseline to peak training. Controls included 22 sedentary men who did not exercise.

RESULTS: Among the training group, VO2 max increased from 37.1 to 42.0 ml/kg/min (p < 0.001). Significant changes were seen in left ventricular wall thickness and mass, stroke volume, resting heart rate and blood pressure (p < 0.001). The control group demonstrated no significant changes. Expression profiling in the training group identified 10 significantly over-expressed and 53 significantly under-expressed loci involved in inflammatory pathways. Dividing the training group into high and low responders based on percent change in VO2 max identified loci that differentiated these two groups at baseline and after training.

CONCLUSION: Intensive exercise training leads to significant increase in cardiac and hemodynamic performance, and significant changes in expression of genes involved in immune and inflammatory response.`