It is well accepted that regular exercise is a significant factor in the prevention of cardiac dysfunction; however, the cardioprotective mechanism is as yet not well defined. We have examined whether regular exercise can modulate the activity of cardiac mast cells (CMC) after deprivation of female sex hormones, as well as the density and percentage degranulation of mast cells, in ventricular tissue of ovariectomized (OVX) rats after an 11-week running program. A significant increase in CMC density with a greater percentage degranulation was induced after ovarian sex hormone deprivation. Increased CMC density was prevented by estrogen supplements, but not by regular training. To the contrary, increased CMC degranulation in the OVX rat heart was attenuated by exercise training, but not by estrogen supplement. These findings indicate a significant correlation between the degree of CMC degranulation and myocyte cross-section area. However, no change in the expression of inflammatory mediators, including chymase, interleukin-6, and interleukin-10, was detected. Taken together, these results clearly indicate one of the cardioprotective mechanisms of regular aerobic exercise is the modulation of CMC activation.
Keywords: Chymase; Estrogen; Interleukin-10; Interleukin-6.