Impaired cardiac control of intracellular diastolic Ca(2+) gives rise to arrhythmias. Whereas exercise training corrects abnormal cyclic Ca(2+) handling in heart failure, the effect on diastolic Ca(2+) remains unstudied. Here, we studied the effect of exercise training on the generation and propagation of spontaneous diastolic Ca(2+) waves in failing cardiomyocytes. Post-myocardial infarction heart failure was induced in Sprague-Dawley rats by coronary artery ligation. Echocardiography confirmed left ventricular infarctions of 40 ± 5%, whereas heart failure was indicated by increased left ventricular end-diastolic pressures, decreased contraction-relaxation rates, and pathological hypertrophy. Spontaneous Ca(2+) waves were imaged by laser linescanning confocal microscopy (488 nm excitation/505-530 nm emission) in 2 µM Fluo-3-loaded cardiomyocytes at 37°C and extracellular Ca(2+) of 1.2 and 5.0 mM. These studies showed that spontaneous Ca(2+) wave frequency was higher at 5.0 mM than 1.2 mM extracellular Ca(2+) in all rats, but failing cardiomyocytes generated 50% (P < 0.01) more waves compared to sham-operated controls at Ca(2+) 1.2 and 5.0 mM. Exercise training reduced the frequency of spontaneous waves at both 1.2 and 5.0 mM Ca(2+) (P < 0.05), although complete normalization was not achieved. Exercise training also increased the aborted/completed ratio of waves at 1.2 mM Ca(2+) (P < 0.01), but not 5.0 mM. Finally, we repeated these studies after inhibiting the nitric oxide synthase with L-NAME. No differential effects were found; thus, mediation did not involve the nitric oxide synthase. In conclusion, exercise training improved the cardiomyocyte control of diastolic Ca(2+) by reducing the Ca(2+) wave frequency and by improving the ability to abort spontaneous Ca(2+) waves after their generation, but before cell-wide propagation.
- Heart Failure/metabolism
- Microscopy, Confocal
- Myocardial Infarction/metabolism
- Myocytes, Cardiac/metabolism
- Physical Conditioning, Animal/physiology
- Rats, Sprague-Dawley