Background: Platelets play an important role in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases. It is also noticed that on one hand, regular exercise can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and on the other hand, vigorous exercise provokes sudden cardiac death. We therefore hypothesize that various intensities of exercise may affect platelet function differently. Methods and Results: Strenuous and moderate exercise (about 50% to 55% of peak oxygen consumption, V̇O(2peak)) on a bicycle ergometer in 10 sedentary and 10 physically active healthy young men was executed on two separate occasions. Blood samples were collected before and immediately after exercise. A newly designed tapered parallel plate chamber was used to assess platelet adhesiveness. Platelet aggregation induced by ADP was evaluated by the percentage of reduction in single platelet count. β-Thromboglobulin (β- TG) and platelet factor 4 (PF4) were measured by ELISA. In addition, a similar study on 5 patients with stable angina were also conducted. Our results showed that (1) in the sedentary healthy group, platelet adhesiveness and aggregation were increased by strenuous exercise and depressed by moderate exercise; (2) in the active healthy group, platelet adhesiveness and aggregation were enhanced by severe exercise, whereas only aggregation was decreased by moderate exercise; (3) in the patients with stable angina, platelet adhesiveness and aggregation were enhanced by strenuous exercise and adhesiveness was suppressed by moderate exercise; (4) the degree of hemoconcentration induced by acute exercise tended to be related to the severity of exercise in all subjects; and (5) although severe exercise elevated β-TG and PF4, there were no significant changes in β-TG, PF4, and the ratio of β-TG to PF4 in healthy subjects after exercise. Conclusions: It is concluded that platelet adhesiveness and aggregability may be sensitized by strenuous exercise in both healthy subjects and patients with stable angina. In contrast, platelet function can be suppressed significantly by moderate exercise in the healthy and tends to be depressed in patients with stable angina. The former may increase the risk of cardiac arrest and the latter may protect us from cardiovascular diseases. In addition, the effects of acute exercise tend to be more pronounced in the sedentary than in the active.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)