Article

Chronic heart failure and skeletal muscle catabolism: effects of exercise training.

Universität Leipzig, Herzzentrum GmbH, Klinik für Innere Medizin/Kardiologie, Russenstr. 19, 04289 Leipzig, Germany.
International Journal of Cardiology (Impact Factor: 6.18). 10/2002; 85(1):141-9. DOI: 10.1016/S0167-5273(02)00243-7
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Although the clinical picture of cardiac cachexia is well-known in patients with advanced chronic heart failure (CHF) the factors that determine who is at risk for this progressive catabolic syndrome and who is not remain unclear. Different endocrine systems have been accused of being involved in this process: an imbalance between catabolic and anabolic steroids with an elevated cortisol/dihydroepiandrosterone ratio, an increased resting metabolic rate due to high levels of circulating catecholamines, various cytokines are activated in CHF (i.e. TNF-alpha, IL-6, IL-1beta and others), and elevated levels of growth hormone (GH) with inappropriately normal or low serum levels of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) have been described in cardiac cachexia. These catabolic factors contribute to peripheral muscle atrophy, augment the expression of the inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), which in turn inhibits the aerobic cellular metabolism. The present review examines whether the catabolic factors can be influenced by a classical anabolic intervention: regular physical exercise training. Long-term training programs increase skeletal muscle cytochrome c oxidase activity and are associated with reduced local expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines as well as iNOS, and augment local IGF-I production. In concert, these beneficial effects of exercise training may help to retard the catabolic process in CHF finally leading to cardiac cachexia and death.

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