American journal of physiology. Regulatory, integrative and comparative physiology

Biomarkers of vascular function in premenopausal and recent postmenopausal women of similar age: effect of exercise training.

PMID 24477543


Menopause is associated with an accelerated decline in vascular function; however, whether this is an effect of age and/or menopause and how exercise training may affect this decline remains unclear. We examined a range of molecular measures related to vascular function in matched premenopausal and postmenopausal women before and after 12 wk of exercise training. Thirteen premenopausal and 10 recently postmenopausal [1.6 ± 0.3 (means ± SE) years after final menstrual period] women only separated by 3 yr (48 ± 1 vs. 51 ± 1 yr) were included. Before training, diastolic blood pressure, soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1), and skeletal muscle expression of thromboxane A synthase were higher in the postmenopausal women compared with the premenopausal women, all indicative of impaired vascular function. In both groups, exercise training lowered diastolic blood pressure, the levels of sICAM-1, soluble vascular adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1), as well as plasma and skeletal muscle endothelin-1. The vasodilator prostacyclin tended (P = 0.061) to be higher in plasma with training in the postmenopausal women only. These findings demonstrate that already within the first years after menopause, several biomarkers of vascular function are adversely altered, indicating that these biomarker changes are more related to hormonal changes than aging. Exercise training appears to have a positive impact on vascular function, as indicated by a marked improvement in the biomarker profile, in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women.

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