Exercise training has been shown to ameliorate a wide variety of cardiovascular disorders. The mechanisms by which long-term benefits of exercise training are mediated remains incomplete, despite intense research in this area. Exactly how the act of chronic exercise improves function in every tissue is unknown, but many of the cellular, molecular, and genetic mechanisms are becoming progressively clearer. This "Perspectives" article reviews the contributions of 15 articles published in the American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology in response to a Call for Papers in this area. Here, we summarize the contributions of these studies at the cardiac, vascular, immune, and molecular levels. We discuss the translational benefit of these studies and conclude that the beneficial effects of exercise training in cardiovascular disease is due to a large interplay of cellular and molecular mediators in the heart and peripheral vasculature as well as changes in neural elements that regulate blood pressure and blood flow. Readers are encouraged to evaluate and learn from this collection of novel studies.
Keywords: blood flow; exercise; heart failure; hypertension; microRNA.