Document Type : Original Article(s)


1 Department of Kinesiologie, University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada

2 Laboratory of Exercise Physiology, Department of Physiological Sciences, Federal University of Sao Carlos, Sao Carlos, Brazil

3 Associate Professor, Department of Kinesiologie, University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada

4 Assistant Professor, Institute of Research of Hospital Montfort, Institute of Savoir of Montfort AND School of Human Kinetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada

5 Professor, Department of Kinesiologie, University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada


BACKGROUND: Small heterodimer partner (SHP) is an important transcriptional factor involved in the regulation of glucose, lipid, and bile acid metabolism in the liver. SHP has been reported to be down-regulated in ovariectomized (Ovx) mice and up-regulated by estrogens suggesting a link between estrogens and SHP. The aim of the present study was to determine the effects of exercise training on SHP and key molecular markers of cholesterol and bile acid homeostasis in Ovx rats under cholesterol feeding. METHODS: Our main experimental group was composed of Ovx rats fed a high-cholesterol diet (Ovx-Chol) that was compared to a group of Ovx rats fed a standard diet (Ovx-SD) and a group of sham operated rats fed the cholesterol diet (Sham-Chol). These three groups of Ovx and sham rats were subdivided into either voluntary wheel running (Tr) or sedentary (Sed) groups for 5 weeks. The mRNA expression of all genes was measured by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. RESULTS: Liver total cholesterol levels were not affected by exercise training in any of the experimental conditions. Cholesterol feeding in both sham and Ovx rats resulted in significantly higher hepatic cholesterol accumulation than in Ovx-SD (P < 0.001). Hepatic low-density lipoprotein-receptor (LDL-R) involved in cholesterol uptake from circulation was not influenced by training. A main effect of training  was, however, found for transcripts of SHP and cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase (CYP7A1, P < 0.05). CYP7A1 is the main gene involved in bile acid biosynthesis from cholesterol. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that voluntary wheel running modulates cholesterol metabolism in Ovx animals through up-regulation of SHP and bile acid formation.  


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