The Role of the Study of Exercise in Defining the Frontier of Integrative Biology

Department of Comparative Bioscience, Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Urbana, IL, USA.
Frontiers in Physiology (Impact Factor: 3.53). 11/2010; 1:142. DOI: 10.3389/fphys.2010.00142
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Exercise training reduces cardiovascular events. The effects of exercise on traditional risk factors do not fully account for the magnitude of risk reduction. Exercise exerts direct effects on the vasculature via the impact of repetitive increases in shear stress on the endothelium, which transduce functional and structural adaptations that decrease atherosclerotic risk. Direct effects of exercise on the vasculature therefore provide a plausible contribution to the reduction in cardiac events associated with exercise training. Since different forms of exercise are associated with different patterns of shear stress and arterial adaptation, future studies should focus on the direct impacts of exercise on vasculature function and structure rather than on surrogate measures of vascular health.
    Journal of Applied Physiology 02/2008; 105(2):766-8. DOI:10.1152/japplphysiol.01028.2007 · 3.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sudden, unexpected cardiac death due to ventricular fibrillation is the leading cause of death in most industrially developed countries. Yet, despite the enormity of this problem, the development of safe and effective antiarrhythmic therapies has proven to be an elusive goal. In fact, many initially promising antiarrhythmic medications were subsequently found to increase rather than to decrease cardiac mortality. It is now known that cardiac disease alters cardiac autonomic balance and that the patients with the greatest changes in this cardiac neural regulation (i.e., decreased parasympathetic coupled with increased sympathetic activity) are also the patients at the greatest risk for sudden death. A growing body of experimental and epidemiological data demonstrates that aerobic exercise conditioning can dramatically reduce cardiac mortality, even in patients with preexisting cardiac disease. Conversely, the lack of exercise is strongly associated with an increased incidence of many chronic debilitating diseases, including coronary heart disease. Because it is well established that aerobic exercise conditioning can alter autonomic balance (increasing parasympathetic tone and decreasing sympathetic activity), a prudently designed exercise program could prove to be an effective and nonpharmacological way to enhance cardiac electrical stability, thereby protecting against sudden cardiac death.
    Journal of Applied Physiology 03/2002; 92(2):446-54. DOI:10.1152/japplphysiol.00874.2001 · 3.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In humans, exercise training and moderate to high levels of physical activity are protective against cardiovascular disease. In fact they are 40% more protective than predicted based on the changes in traditional risk factors (blood lipids, hypertension, diabetes etc.) that they cause. In this review, we highlight the positive effects of exercise on endothelial function and the autonomic nervous system. We also ask if these effects alone, or in combination, might explain the protective effects of exercise against cardiovascular disease that appear to be independent of traditional risk factor modification. Our goal is to use selected data from our own work and that of others to stimulate debate on the nature and cause of the 'risk factor gap' associated with exercise and physical activity.
    The Journal of Physiology 10/2009; 587(Pt 23):5551-8. DOI:10.1113/jphysiol.2009.179432 · 5.04 Impact Factor


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