Life sciences

Aerobic exercise modulation of mental stress-induced responses in cultured endothelial progenitor cells from healthy and metabolic syndrome subjects.

PMID 25596018


Numerous studies have demonstrated that exercise acutely prevents the reduction in flow-mediated dilation induced by mental stress in subjects with metabolic syndrome (MetS). However, it is unknown whether a similar effect occurs in endothelial progenitors cells (EPCs). This study investigated whether exercise protects from the deleterious effect of mental stress on cultured EPCs in healthy subjects and those with MetS. Ten healthy subjects (aged 31±2) and ten subjects with MetS (aged 36±2) were enrolled. Subjects underwent a mental stress test, followed immediately by either 40 min of leg cycling or rest across two randomized sessions: mental stress+non-exercise control (MS) and mental stress+exercise (MS+EXE). The Stroop Color-Word Test was used to elicit mental stress. Blood samples were drawn at baseline and following sessions to isolate mononuclear cells. These cells were cultured in fibronectin-coated plates for seven days, and EPCs were identified by immunofluorescence (acLDL(+)/ UEA-I Lectin(+)). All subjects presented similar increases in mean blood pressure and heart rate during the mental stress test (P<0.01) in both the MS and MS+EXE sessions. Number of EPCs was not different between groups at baseline in both sessions (P>0.05). The EPC response to MS and MS+EXE was increased in healthy subjects, whereas it was decreased in subjects with MetS (P<0.04). In healthy subjects, the EPC response to MS+EXE was greater than the response to MS alone (P=0.03). An exercise session increased EPCs in healthy subjects but did not prevent the EPC reduction induced by mental stress among subjects with MetS.