Cardiac protein expression patterns are associated with distinct inborn exercise capacity in non-selectively bred rats
In the present study, we successfully demonstrated for the first time the existence of cardiac proteomic differences between non-selectively bred rats with distinct intrinsic exercise capacities. A proteomic approach based on two-dimensional gel electrophoresis coupled to mass spectrometry was used to study the left ventricle (LV) tissue proteome of rats with distinct intrinsic exercise capacity. Low running performance (LRP) and high running performance (HRP) rats were categorized by a treadmill exercise test, according to distance run to exhaustion. The running capacity of HRPs was 3.5-fold greater than LRPs. Protein profiling revealed 29 differences between HRP and LRP rats (15 proteins were identified). We detected alterations in components involved in metabolism, antioxidant and stress response, microfibrillar and cytoskeletal proteins. Contractile proteins were upregulated in the LVs of HRP rats (α-myosin heavy chain-6, myosin light chain-1 and creatine kinase), whereas the LVs of LRP rats exhibited upregulation in proteins associated with stress response (aldehyde dehydrogenase 2, α-crystallin B chain and HSPβ-2). In addition, the cytoskeletal proteins desmin and α-actin were upregulated in LRPs. Taken together, our results suggest that the increased contractile protein levels in HRP rats partly accounted for their improved exercise capacity, and that proteins considered risk factors to the development of cardiovascular disease were expressed in higher amounts in LRP animals.