Objective—To determine the effects of 2 weeks of intense exercise on expression of markers of pulmonary venous remodeling in the caudodorsal and cranioventral regions of the lungs of horses.
Procedures—Tissue samples of the caudodorsal and cranioventral regions of lungs were obtained before and after conditioning and 2 weeks of intense exercise. Pulmonary veins were isolated, and a quantitative real-time PCR assay was used to determine mRNA expression of matrix metalloproteinase-2 and −9, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 and −2, collagen type I, tenascin-C, endothelin-1, platelet-derived growth factor, transforming growth factor (TGF)-β, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Protein expression of collagen (via morphometric analysis) and tenascin-C, TGF-β, and VEGF (via immunohistochemistry) was determined.
Results—Exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage was detected in 2 horses after exercise. The mRNA expression of matrix metalloproteinase-2 and −9, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-2, TGF-β, and VEGF was significantly lower in pulmonary veins obtained after exercise versus those obtained before exercise for both the caudodorsal and cranioventral regions of the lungs. Collagen content was significantly higher in tissue samples obtained from the caudodorsal regions of the lungs versus content in samples obtained from the cranioventral regions of the lungs both before and after exercise. Exercise did not alter protein expression of tenascin-C, TGF-β, or VEGF.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results of this study indicated 2 weeks of intense exercise did not alter expression of marker genes in a manner expected to favor venous remodeling. Pulmonary venous remodeling is complex, and > 2 weeks of intense exercise may be required to induce such remodeling.