BACKGROUND: Obesity is associated with several metabolic disorders and myocardial apoptosis. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) supplementation on myocardial apoptotic proteins in obese male rats.
METHODS: Forty-eight male Wistar rats were randomly assigned to 6 groups including non-obese control (NOC), baseline obese control (BOC), HIIT, CoQ10, HIIT + CoQ10, and control. NOC and BOC groups were sacrificed at the beginning of the study. Exercise groups were subjected to a HIIT program over 12 weeks. Rats in CoQ10 group were gavage-fed with 500 mg/kg-1 CoQ10 supplement throughout the study. The heart muscle was removed 48 hours after the last training session. The B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2), Bcl-2-associated X protein (Bax), cytochrome c, BH3-interacting domain death agonist (Bid), caspase-8, and caspase-3 protein expressions were analyzed using western blotting. Data were analyzed using independent t-test and two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA).
RESULTS: The Bax, Bid, cytochrome c, caspase-8, caspase-3 proteins, and Bax/Bcl-2 were significantly higher in BOC group compared to NOC (P = 0.025, P = 0.0001, P = 0.013, P = 0.017, P = 0.010, P = 0.180, respectively). Moreover, Bcl-2 protein was lower in BOC compared to NOC group (P = 0.025). HIIT program decreased Bax/Bcl-2 ratio (P = 0.012), Bid (P = 0.0001), cytochrome c (P = 0.003), caspase-8 (P = 0.006), and caspase-3 (P = 0.002) proteins and increased Bcl-2 (P = 0.001) proteins in heart muscle. CoQ10 supplementation significantly increased Bcl-2 protein content (P = 0.001).
CONCLUSION: HIIT exerts an anti-apoptotic effect in heart muscle of obese rats. Although the administration of CoQ10 increased Bcl-2 anti-apoptotic protein, it did not show a potent synergistic effect along with HIIT to reduce obesity-related myocardial apoptosis.