Aerobic exercises, such as brisk walking, running, jogging or swimming, are likely to restore the cardiac protein quality control system in heart failure, suggested a research conducted on rats.
Heart failure is a common end-point for many cardiovascular diseases. This syndrome is characterised by reduced cardiac output that leads to dyspnoea, exercise intolerance and later death.
Despite heart failure seems to be a multi-factorial syndrome, a common point observed by several studies was the accumulation of "bad" (or misfolded) proteins in the cardiac cells of both humans and animals with heart failure, the researchers explained.
Proteins are like workers that are responsible for many chemical reactions in the body that are required in keeping our cells healthy.
Proteins are constituted by a sequence of amino acids that determine the "shape" (structure) of a protein, which is critical for proteins to function.
During the evolution process, our cells developed a protein quality control system that refolds or degrades misfolded proteins, allowing them to keep only the "good" proteins, said Luiz H. M. Bozi from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil.
The findings showed that misfolded protein accumulation in a rat model of heart failure was related to the disruption of the cardiac protein quality control system. No pharmacological therapy could target the protein quality control system.
Further, aerobic exercise training was found to restore the cardiac protein quality control system, which was related to a reduction in the misfolded protein accumulation.
Aerobic exercise training also improved the cardiac function in heart failure animals, said the paper published in the Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine.
Furthermore, more than 20 million people worldwide are estimated to develop heart failure and this situation will get worse, since the prevalence of heart failure will rise as the mean age of the population increases, the researchers concluded.