What is it about?

The present study characterised cTnT appearance and associated histological evidence of reversible or irreversible changes in myocardial ultrastructure, determined via electron microscopy, in rats undertaking isoproterenol (ISO) infusion or an endurance exercise challenge.

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Why is it important?

It remains controversial whether exercise-induced cardiac troponin (cTnT) release reflects reversible or irreversible cardiomyocyte damage. We characterized cTnT appearance and histological evidence of cardiomyocyte insult in rats after isoproterenol or 5h of swimming. Isoproterenol resulted in cTnT elevation and signs of irreversible cardiomyocyte damage. The rise in cTnT with exercise was not associated with any histological evidence of irreversible cardiomyocyte injury. We suggest that cTnT release may be an obligatory but physiological response to exercise.


This study supports the notion that a postexercise cTn increase represents a physiological process that may include reversible changes in cardiomyocyte ultrastructure (George et al. 2011). The cTn elevations are modest and kinetic data suggest a rapid return to normal. In this regard, our data suggest that a cTnT response postexercise is common, if not obligatory, but is unlikely to reflect an irreversible insult to the cardiomycoytes in the absence of other elements of clinical disease or risk.

Macao Polytechnic Institute

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This page is a summary of: Histological evidence for reversible cardiomyocyte changes and serum cardiac troponin T elevation after exercise in rats, Physiological Reports, December 2016, Wiley, DOI: 10.14814/phy2.13083.
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