Exercise attenuates matrix metalloproteinase activity in preexisting atherosclerotic plaque

Soo Min Shon, Jong Ho Park, Matthias Nahrendorf, Dawid Schellingerhout, Jeong Yeon Kim, Byeong Teck Kang, Sang Wuk Jeong, Eo Jin Kim, Ju Hee Ryu, Kwangmeyung Kim, Ick Chan Kwon, Dong Kun Lee, Myoung Mook Lee, Dong Eog Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Objective: Few studies have investigated if exercise by itself has anti-atherosclerotic effects, without combining interventions with a low-fat diet. We studied the effects of exercise as a stand-alone intervention on preexisting atheromata by measuring not only plaque size but also the levels of plaque-destabilizing matrix-metalloproteinase (MMP) activity in vivo. Methods and results: We used near-infrared fluorescent (NIRF) molecular imaging with an MMP-2/9 activatable NIRF probe to visualize the inflammatory protease activity within preexisting atheromata of 17-week-old ApoE-/- mice on: (a) normal chow diet (NCD), (b) Western diet (WD), and (c) WD with treadmill exercise for 10 weeks. We also measured tissue levels of aortic lipid peroxidation (LPO) and plasma levels of glucose/lipid/cytokine profiles. Exercise did not attenuate growth of preexisting atheromatous plaques. However, exercise strongly decreased proteolytic activity in plaques for animals on WD, with levels decreasing almost to NCD levels. Exercise was associated with decreased aortic LPO levels and increased blood adiponectin/leptin levels; however, exercise did not affect WD-consumption/weight-gain or improve blood glucose/lipid profiles. Conclusions: Exercise training reduced aortic MMP activity in mice with preexisting atheromata, even though they remained on a high fat diet and plaque-growth was not attenuated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-73
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a grant ( A08020 , Translational Stroke Research Center Grant to Dr. Dong-Eog Kim) of the Korea Healthcare Technology R&D Project, Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea.


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Exercise
  • Matrix metalloproteinase
  • Molecular imaging
  • Preexisting plaque


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