Aging is the most important risk factor in cardiovascular disease (CVD), which is the leading causes of death worldwide and the second major cause of death in Taiwan. The major factor in heart failure during aging is heart remodeling, including long-term stress-induced cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis. Exercise is good for aging heart health, but the impact of exercise training on aging is not defined. This study used 3-, 12- and 18-month-old rats and randomly divided each age group into no exercise training control groups (C3, A12 and A18) and moderate gentle swimming exercise training groups (E3, AE12 and AE18). The protocol of exercise training was swimming five times weekly with gradual increases from the first week from 20 to 60 min for 12 weeks. Analyses of protein from rat heart tissues and sections revealed cardiac inflammation, hypertrophy and fibrosis pathway increases in aged rat groups (A12 and A18), which were improved in exercise training groups (AE12 and AE18). There were no heart injuries in young rat hearts in exercise group E3. These data suggest that moderate swimming exercise training attenuated aging-induced cardiac inflammation, hypertrophy and fibrosis injuries of rat hearts.
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