Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Mitochondria and Cardiovascular disease

Gnome writes "Aerobic capacity (fitness) correlates with less cardiovascular disease. Is aerobic capacity inherited? Here, rats from a genetically “heterogeneous” stock were selected for endurance running. Low and high capacity lines were bred. Investigators measured a 3.5-fold difference in aerobic capacity after 11 generations. Capacity of both lines changed through the generations, from the starting average 355 m to exhaustion to a low of 191 m and a high of 853 m. Poor runners had higher blood pressure, higher serum triglycerides, and lower glucose tolerance than good runners. Training didn't help poor runners much. Several mitochondrial proteins are much lower in poor runners and the authors attribute heritable decreases in fitness to decreased mitochondia function. Since mitochondria are maternally inherited, it would be interesting to compare the offspring of high capacity mothers with low capacity fathers and vice versa.
PubMedWisloff et al. Science 2005 Jan 21;307(5708):418-20
Cardiovascular risk factors emerge after artificial selection for low aerobic capacity.

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