Increased prostacyclin formation after high-intensity interval training in late postmenopausal women

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Purpose: Aging impairs vascular function in women, with the largest detrimental effects occurring during the menopausal transition. Deficiency in the nitric oxide system has been suggested to be responsible for impairment in vascular function with aging, but recent observations suggest that the prostacyclin system, acting in redundancy with the nitric oxide system, may be of importance too. Improvement in vascular function is a hallmark of exercise training and we hypothesize that leg vascular function is improved by exercise training in late postmenopausal women, and that the underlying mechanism is increased endothelial formation of prostacyclin and responsiveness to prostacyclin by the vascular smooth muscle cells.

Method: Femoral-arterial infusion of acetylcholine and epoprostenol was used to assess vascular function and prostacyclin release in ten late postmenopausal women (62 ± 7 years) before and after 10 weeks of high-intensity interval training (floorball conducted as small-sided games).

Result: The training intervention increased fitness level (V̇O2max) by 7 ± 7% and reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure by 10 ± 10 and 5 ± 6 mmHg, respectively. Leg vascular responsiveness to during acetylcholine and epoprostenol infusion was unchanged with training, whereas the release of prostacyclin during acetylcholine infusion increased by 125%.

Conclusions: In late postmenopausal women, vascular function assessed by femoral-arterial infusion of acetylcholine was not improved after 10 weeks of floorball training, but acetylcholine-induced prostacyclin formation and blood pressure were substantially improved. It is possible that a longer training period could lead to improvements in vascular function and that the observed increase in prostacyclin formation is one of the initial underlying changes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)1711-1720
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Science - Blood vessel, Menopause, Floorball training, Epoprostenol, Endothelial function

ID: 242305518