Ilkka Heinonen

Ilkka Heinonen
University of Turku | UTU · Turku PET Centre

PhD, Adjunct Professor

About

114
Publications
16,412
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
2,346
Citations
Introduction
My primary general research interest is to elucidate acute and long-term cardiovascular and metabolic adaptations of physical activity and exercise in health and disease. Novel aspects in this area are pursued by studying broad range of human activity levels, ranging from total inactivity at the epidemiological scale to extreme activities of highly training and performing endurance athletes. These studies are complemented by investigating physiological responses of environmental challenges.
Additional affiliations
January 2015 - present
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Position
  • Visiting Research Associate
January 2015 - June 2016
University of Western Australia
Position
  • Research Associate
September 2014 - present
University of Turku
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • Adj. prof. of exercise and cardiovascular physiology
Education
August 2007 - December 2011
University of Turku
Field of study
  • Health Biosciences
January 2006 - February 2010
University of Turku
Field of study
  • Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine
August 2003 - December 2007
University of Jyväskylä
Field of study
  • Exercise Physiology

Publications

Publications (114)
Presentation
The aim of this study was to investigate whether melanoma impairs intrinsic heart function in mice and whether short-term voluntary running wheel exercise could reduce the possible negative effects. Additionally, we investigated whether changes in cell size, capillary density, calcium channel levels, metabolic enzyme activities or oxidative stress...
Article
The aim of this study was to investigate whether subcutaneous melanoma impairs intrinsic cardiac function and hypoxia tolerance in mice. Additionally it was investigated whether these changes could be prevented by voluntary running-wheel exercise. The role of different molecular pathways were also analysed. Male mice (C57Bl/6NCrl) were divided into...
Article
Objectives The aim was to investigate if reducing sedentary behavior (SB) improves cardiometabolic biomarkers in adults with metabolic syndrome (MetS). Design Randomized controlled trial. Methods Sixty-four sedentary middle-aged adults with MetS were randomized into intervention (INT; n = 33) and control (CON; n = 31) groups. INT was guided to li...
Article
Purpose: The muscle perfusion response to post-exercise cold water immersion (CWI) is not well understood. We examined the effects of graded post-exercise CWI upon global and regional quadriceps femoris muscle perfusion using positron emission tomography (PET) and [15O]H2O. Methods: Using a matched-group design, 30 healthy men performed cycle er...
Article
Full-text available
Exercise is known to improve cardiac recovery following coronary occlusion. However, whether short-term exercise can improve cardiac function and hypoxia tolerance ex vivo independent of reperfusion injury and the possible role of calcium channels in improved hypoxia tolerance remains unknown. Therefore, in the current study, heart function was mea...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives To determine how components of accelerometer-measured sedentary behavior (SB) and physical activity (PA), and fitness are associated with insulin sensitivity in adults with metabolic syndrome. Design Cross-sectional. Methods Target population was middle-aged (40-65 years) sedentary adults with metabolic syndrome. SB, breaks in SB, stan...
Article
Full-text available
Accelerometry is a commonly used method to determine physical activity in clinical studies, but the duration and timing of measurement have seldom been addressed. We aimed to evaluate possible changes in the measured outcomes and associations with insulin resistance during four weeks of accelerometry data collection. This study included 143 partici...
Article
Full-text available
Background Effective strategies to reverse the increasing trend of sedentary behavior after retirement are needed. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of 12-month activity tracker-based intervention on daily total and prolonged sedentary time (≥60 min) among recent retirees. Methods Randomization to intervention and control groups was...
Article
Full-text available
Objective We studied the associations between accelerometer-measured sedentary behavior (SB) and habitual physical activity (PA) as well as markers of body adiposity and other cardiometabolic risk factors with liver enzymes alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and γ-glutamyltransferase (GGT).MethodsA total of 144 middle-...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: The randomized controlled trial REACT (NCT03320746) examined the effect of a 12-month consumer-based activity tracker intervention on accelerometer-measured physical activity among recent retirees. Methods: Altogether 231 recently retired Finnish adults (age, 65.2 ± 1.1 yr, mean ± SD; 83% women) were randomized to intervention and contr...
Article
Objective: Whereas insulin resistance is expressed as reduced glucose uptake in peripheral tissues, the relationship between insulin resistance and brain glucose metabolism remains controversial. Our aim was to examine the association of insulin resistance and brain glucose uptake (BGU) during a euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp in a large sample...
Article
It is well known that high von Willebrand factor (VWF) and factor VIII (FVIII) levels are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. It is still debated whether VWF and FVIII are biomarkers of endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis or whether they have a direct causative role. Therefore, we aimed to unravel the pathophysiolog...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Postprandial glucose, insulin, and triglyceride metabolism is impaired by prolonged sitting, but enhanced by exercise. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of a continuous exercise bout with and without intermittent active interruptions to prolonged sitting on postprandial glucose, insulin, and triglycerides. Methods: Seden...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this study was to examine the associations of cardiometabolic health markers with device-measured sedentary behavior (SB) duration and different intensities of physical activity (PA) among overweight working-aged adults with low self-reported PA levels. This cross-sectional analysis included 144 subjects (42 men) with mean age of 57 (SD...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: Rac1 and its downstream target PAK1 are novel regulators of insulin and exercise-induced glucose uptake in skeletal muscle. However, it is not yet understood how different training intensities affect the expression of these proteins. Therefore, we studied the effects of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and moderate-intensity contin...
Article
Full-text available
The prevalence of diabetic metabolic derangement (DMetD) has increased dramatically over the last decades. Although there is increasing evidence that DMetD is associated with cardiac dysfunction, the early DMetD-induced myocardial alterations remain incompletely understood. Here, we studied early DMetD-related cardiac changes in a clinically releva...
Article
We examined the influence of graded cold-water immersion (CWI) on global and regional quadriceps muscle perfusion using positron emission tomography (PET) and [ ¹⁵ O]H 2 O. In thirty healthy males (33±8 yrs; 81±10 kg; 184±5 cm; percentage body fat: 13±5%; V̇O 2peak : 47±8 mL·kg ⁻¹ ·min ⁻¹ ) quadriceps perfusion, thigh and calf cutaneous vascular co...
Article
Full-text available
Aims: Simultaneous measurement of right (RV) and left ventricle (LV) myocardial blood flow (MBF), oxygen extraction fraction (OEF), and oxygen consumption (MVO2) non-invasively in humans would provide new possibilities to understand cardiac physiology and different patho-physiological states. Methods: We developed and tested an optimized novel meth...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Altitude training stimulates erythropoietin hormone (EPO) release and increases blood hemoglobin (Hb) mass, which may result in improved oxygen (O2) transport capacity. It was hypothesized in the present study that periodic inhalation of carbon monoxide (CO) might elicit similar physiological adaptations compared to altitude training....
Article
Background Retirement is associated with an increase in self-reported daily sedentary time, but no longitudinal evidence exists on how objectively measured sedentary time changes during retirement transition. The aim of this study was to compare objectively measured daily and hourly sedentary time before and after retirement and examine whether the...
Article
Full-text available
Background Sedentary behaviour is associated with impaired cognition, whereas exercise can acutely improve cognition. Objective We compared the effects of a morning bout of moderate-intensity exercise, with and without subsequent light-intensity walking breaks from sitting, on cognition in older adults. Methods Sedentary overweight/obese older ad...
Article
Full-text available
The effects of sprint interval training (SIT) on intramyocellular (IMCL) and extramyocellular (EMCL) lipid accumulation are unclear. We tested the effects of SIT and moderate‐intensity continuous training (MICT) on IMCL and EMCL accumulation in a randomized controlled setting in two different study populations; healthy untrained men (n 28) and subj...
Article
Preventing declines in cerebral blood flow is important for maintaining optimal brain health with aging. We compared the effects of a morning bout of moderate-intensity exercise, with and without subsequent light-intensity walking breaks from sitting, on cerebral blood flow velocity over 8-hours in older adults. In a randomized crossover trial, ove...
Article
Objective Skeletal muscle is unique among organs in that its blood flow, thus oxygen supply that is critical for muscular function, can change over a remarkably large range. Compared to the rest, muscle blood flow can increase over 20-fold during intense exercise. Positron emission tomography (PET) and [15O]-H2O tracer provide a unique tool for the...
Article
Human bone marrow is a metabolically active tissue that responds to acute low intensity exercise by having increased glucose uptake. Here we studied whether bone marrow glucose uptake increases more with increased exercise intensities. Femoral bone marrow glucose uptake was measured using positron emission tomography and 18F-fluoro-deoxyglucose in...
Article
Full-text available
Left ventricular (LV) diastolic dysfunction is one of the important mechanisms responsible for symptoms in patients with heart failure. The aim of the current study was to identify parameters that may be used to detect early signs of LV diastolic dysfunction in diabetic pigs on a high fat diet, using conventional and speckle tracking echocardiograp...
Article
Full-text available
Aims More than 50% of patients with heart failure have preserved ejection fraction characterized by diastolic dysfunction. The prevalance of diastolic dysfunction is higher in females and associates with multiple comorbidities such as hypertension (HT), obesity, hypercholesterolemia (HC), and diabetes mellitus (DM). Although its pathophysiology rem...
Article
The mechanisms that regulate bone blood flow (BBF) in humans are largely unknown. Animal studies suggest that nitric oxide (NO) could be involved and in the present study we investigated the effects of inhibition of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) alone and in combination with inhibition of cyclooxygenase (COX) enzyme, thus prostaglandin (PG) synthesis...
Article
Full-text available
Growing concerns have been expressed regarding cardiovascular performance in modern farm pigs, which has been proposed as a critical factor contributing to the reduced adaptability of modern pigs to stress. Here we tested the hypothesis that cardiac dimensions and pump function in modern heavy farm pigs are disproportionally low for their body weig...
Article
Environmental stress such as extremely warm or cold temperature is often considered a challenge to human health and body homeostasis. However, human body can adapt relatively well to heat and cold environments and recent studies have also elucidated that particularly heat stress might be even highly beneficial for human health. Consequently, the ai...
Article
Full-text available
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is associated with reduced myocardial glucose uptake (GU) and increased free fatty acid uptake (FFAU). Sprint interval training (SIT) improves physical exercise capacity and metabolic biomarkers, but effects of SIT on cardiac function and energy substrate metabolism in diabetic subjects are unknown. We tested the hyp...
Article
Full-text available
We previously demonstrated that uridine adenosine tetraphosphate (Up4A) induces potent and partially endothelium-dependent relaxation in the healthy porcine coronary microvasculature. We subsequently showed that Up4A-induced porcine coronary relaxation was impaired via downregulation of P1 receptors after myocardial infarction. In view of the delet...
Article
Background: Apelin is a hormone that regulates cardiovascular function, and its concentration is increased by hypoxia based on cell culture and animal studies. As it remains unknown as to whether hypoxia could affect apelin levels in humans, we investigated whether breathing normobaric hypoxic gas mixture increases the circulating apelin concentra...
Chapter
Over the last 50 years, a vast amount of knowledge pertaining to the structure and control mechanisms that govern function of the coronary circulation has been obtained through experimental animal studies. Indeed, studies in a variety of animal models have provided us with a basic understanding of the major factors determining myocardial blood flow...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: Animal studies suggest that the inhibition of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) affects blood flow differently in different skeletal muscles according to their muscle fibre type composition (oxidative vs glycolytic). Quadriceps femoris (QF) muscle consists of four different muscle parts: vastus intermedius (VI), rectus femoris (RF), vastus medi...
Article
It is increasingly recognized that obesity is a risk factor for microvascular disease, i.e. results in structural and functional changes in the microvasculature. This review aims to describe how obesity impacts the microvasculature of visceral adipose tissue, skeletal muscle, heart, brain, kidneys and lungs. These changes involve endothelial dysfun...
Article
Full-text available
Cardiac muscle stiffness can potentially be estimated non-invasively with shear wave elastography. Shear waves are present on the septal wall after mitral and aortic valve closure, thus providing an opportunity to assess stiffness in early systole and early diastole. We report on the shear wave recordings of 22 minipigs with high-frame-rate echocar...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Traditionally, a self-reported questionnaire has been a cost-effective method of gathering information about physical activity (PA). An objective measurement, such as the use of a pedometer, can be used to validate the findings of a PA questionnaire in a large population. Objective: The study objective was to determine the convergent va...
Article
Coronary microvascular dysfunction (CMD) has been proposed as an important component of diabetes mellitus (DM) and hypercholesterolemia-associated coronary artery disease (CAD). Previously we observed that 2.5 months of DM and high fat diet (HFD) blunted bradykinin (BK)-induced vasodilation and attenuated endothelin-1 (ET-1)- mediated vasoconstrict...
Article
Increases in arterial carbon dioxide tension (hypercapnia) elicit potent vasodilation of cerebral arterioles. Recent studies have also reported vasodilation of the internal carotid artery during hypercapnia, but the mechanism(s) mediating this extracranial vasoreactivity are unknown. Hypercapnia increases carotid shear stress, a known stimulus to v...
Article
Full-text available
Adipose tissue metabolism and circulation play an important role in human health. It is well-known that adipose tissue mass is increased in response to excess caloric intake leading to obesity and further to local hypoxia and inflammatory signaling. Acute exercise increases blood supply to adipose tissue and mobilization of fat stores for energy. H...
Article
Full-text available
Key points: High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has become popular, time-sparing alternative to moderate intensity continuous training (MICT), although the cardiac vascular and metabolic effects of HIIT are incompletely known. We compared the effects of 2-week interventions with HIIT and MICT on myocardial perfusion and free fatty acid and glu...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the recent studies on structural and functional adaptations of the right ventricle (RV) to exercise training, adaptations of its metabolism remain unknown. We investigated the effects of short-term, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) on RV glucose and fat metabolism. Twenty-eight untrai...
Article
Full-text available
Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) constitutes a clinical syndrome in which the diagnostic criteria of heart failure are not accompanied by gross disturbances of systolic function, as assessed by ejection fraction. In turn, under most circumstances, diastolic function is impaired. Although it now represents over 50 % of all pati...
Article
Full-text available
Dysfunction of the right ventricle (RV) plays a crucial role in the outcome of various cardiovascular diseases. Previous studies on RV metabolism are sparse although evidence implies it may differ from left ventricular (LV) metabolism. Therefore, the aims of this study were (1) to determine predictors of RV glucose uptake (GU) and free fatty acid u...
Article
More than 50% of patients with heart failure have preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) characterized by diastolic dysfunction. HFpEF usually occurs in female patients with multiple comorbidities such as obesity, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes mellitus (DM) and hypertension. Here we studied the effects of DM, high fat diet (HFD), and chronic kidney d...
Article
Full-text available
We tested the hypothesis that baseline cardiac autonomic function and its acute response to all-out interval exercise explains individual fitness responses to high-intensity interval training (HIT). Healthy middle-aged sedentary men performed HIT (n=12, 4-6×30 s of all-out cycling efforts with 4-min recovery) or aerobic training (AET, n=9, 40-60 mi...
Article
Full-text available
Inflammation is an important contributor to atherosclerosis progression. A glucose analogue 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose ([18F]FDG) has been used to detect atherosclerotic inflammation. However, it is not known to what extent [18F]FDG is taken up in different stages of atherosclerosis. We aimed to study the uptake of [18F]FDG to various stages of coronar...
Article
Coronary microvascular function and cardiac function are closely related in that proper cardiac function requires adequate oxygen delivery through the coronary microvasculature. Due to the close proximity of cardiomyocytes and coronary microvascular endothelium, cardiomyocytes not only communicate their metabolic needs to the coronary microvasculat...
Article
Full-text available
We tested the hypothesis that sprint interval training (SIT) causes larger improvements in glucose and free fatty acid uptake in lower and upper body muscles than moderate intensity training (MIT). Twenty-eight healthy, untrained, middle-aged men were randomized into SIT (n = 14, 4-6 x 30 s of all-out cycling / 4 min recovery) and MIT groups (n = 1...
Article
The systematic increase in O2 uptake and O2 extraction with increasing work rates conceals a substantial heterogeneity of O2 delivery (Q˙O2)-to-V˙O2 matching across and within muscles and other organs. We hypothesize that whether increased/decreased Q˙O2/V˙O2 heterogeneity can be judged as "good" or "bad", for example after exercise training or in...