Introduction: Pentraxin 3 (PTX3), which is mainly produced by endothelial cells, macrophages, and smooth muscle cells in the atherosclerotic region, has a cardioprotective effect. Endurance exercise training has also been known to offer cardioprotection. However, the effect of regular endurance exercise on PTX3 is unknown. This study aimed to investigate whether plasma PTX3 concentrations increase in endurance-trained men. Ten young endurance-trained men and 12 age- and gender-matched sedentary controls participated in this study.
Methods: We measured plasma PTX3 concentrations of the participants in each group. We also determined systemic arterial compliance (SAC) by using simultaneous M-mode ultrasound and arterial applanation tonometry of the common carotid artery and used HDL cholesterol (HDLC) as an index of cardioprotective effect.
Results: Maximal oxygen uptake was significantly higher in the endurance-trained men than that in the sedentary controls. SAC and HDLC were significantly higher in the endurance-trained men than that in the sedentary controls (SAC = 1.74 ± 0.11 vs 1.41 ± 0.09 mL·mm Hg−1, P < 0.05; HDLC = 70 ± 5 vs 57 ± 4 mg·dL−1, P < 0.05). Plasma PTX3 concentrations were markedly higher in the endurance-trained men than that in the sedentary controls (0.93 ± 0.11 vs 0.68 ± 0.06 ng·mL−1, P < 0.05). Relationships between plasma PTX3 concentrations and SAC and HDLC were linear.
Conclusions: This is the first study revealing that endurance-trained individuals had higher levels of circulating PTX3 than sedentary controls. PTX3 may play a partial role in endurance exercise training-induced cardioprotection.