The purpose of this study was to investigate whether aerobic exercise training inhibits atherosclerosis via the reduction of proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) expression in balloon-induced common carotid arteries of a high-fat-diet rats. Male SD (Sprague Dawley) rats fed an eight-weeks high-fat diet were randomly divided into three groups; these were the sham-operated control (SC), the balloon-induced control (BIC) and the balloon-induced exercise (BIE). The aerobic exercise training groups were performed on a treadmill. The major findings were as follows: first, body weight gain was significantly decreased by aerobic exercise training compared to the BIC without change of energy intake. Second, neointimal formation was significantly inhibited by aerobic exercise training in the balloon-induced common carotid arteries of high-fat-diet rats compared to the BIC. Third, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor (LDLr) expression was significantly increased by aerobic exercise training in the livers of the high-fat diet group compared to the BIC, but not the proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) expression. Fourth, aerobic exercise training significantly decreased the expression of PCSK9, the lectin-like oxidized LDL receptor-1 (LOX-1), and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) in balloon-induced common carotid arteries of high-fat-diet rats compared to the BIC. In conclusion, our results suggest that aerobic exercise training increases LDLr in the liver and inhibits neointimal formation via the reduction of PCSK9 and LOX-1 in balloon-induced common carotid arteries of high-fat-diet-induced rats.
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