Purpose MicroRNAs (miRs) are crucial intracellular mediators of various biological processes, also affecting the cardiovascular system. Recently, it has been shown that microRNAs circulate extracellularly in the bloodstream and that such circulating microRNAs change in response to physical activity. Therefore the purpose of the current study was to investigate heart/muscle specific and inflammation related microRNAs in plasma of individuals before, directly after and 24 h after a marathon run and to analyse their relation to conventional biochemical, cardiovascular, and performance indices. Methods 14 male endurance athletes were recruited for the study after performing a battery of cardiac functional tests. Results Skeletal and heart muscle specific miRs showed a significant increase after the marathon. The strongest increase was observed for miR-206. 24 h after the run only miR-499 and miR-208b were returned to pre-exercise levels, while the others were still enhanced. In contrast, miR-21 and -155 were not affected by exercise. MiR-1, -133a, -206 correlated to aerobic performance parameters such as maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) and running speed at individual anaerobic lactate threshold (VIAS). MiR-1 showed a moderate negative correlation with fractional shortening, while miR-133a was positively related to the thickness of intraventricular septum. None of the microRNAs correlated with cardiac injury markers such as troponin T, troponin I and pro-BNP. Conclusions These findings suggest a role for muscle and heart specific microRNAs in cardiovascular adaptation processes after endurance exercise. The specific correlation of miR-1, -133a, -206 to performance parameters indicated their potential role as biomarkers of aerobic capacity.
- marathon run
- maximum oxygen uptake
- cardiovascular system
- Copyright © 2013, American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology