Introduction: Bone marrow-derived endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) are involved in vascular growth and repair. They increase in the circulation after a single bout of aerobic exercise, potentially related to muscle ischemia. Muscular endurance resistance exercise (MERE) bouts also have the potential to induce muscle ischemia if appropriately structured.
Purpose: The objective of this study is to determine the influence of a single bout of MERE on circulating EPC and related angiogenic factors.
Methods: Thirteen trained men age 22.4 ± 0.5 yr (mean ± SEM) performed a bout of MERE consisting of three sets of six exercises at participants’ 15-repetition maximum without resting between repetitions or exercises. The MERE bout duration was 12.1 ± 0.6 min. Blood lactate and HR were 11.9 ± 0.9 mmol·L−1 and 142 ± 5 bpm, respectively, at the end of MERE. Blood was sampled preexercise and at 10 min, 2 h, and 24 h postexercise.
Results: Circulating EPC and serum concentrations of vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGF-A, VEGF-C, and VEGF-D), granulocyte colony stimulating factor, soluble Tie-2, soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1, and matrix metalloproteinases (MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-9, and MMP-9) were higher (P < 0.05) in the postexercise period. Circulating EPC levels were unchanged at 10 min postexercise but higher at 2 h postexercise (P < 0.05). The concentration of most angiogenic factors and metalloproteinases were higher at 10 min postexercise (VEGF-A, +38%; VEGF-C, +40%; VEGF-D, +9%; soluble Tie-2, +15%; soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1, +24%; MMP-1, +62%; MMP-2, +3%; MMP-3, +54%; and MMP-9, +45%; all P < 0.05). Soluble E-selectin was lower (P < 0.05) at 2 and 24 h postexercise, with endothelial microparticles and thrombomodulin unchanged.
Conclusions: Short intense bouts of MERE can trigger increases in circulating EPC and related angiogenic factors, potentially contributing to vascular adaptation and vasculoprotection.