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1.  Gene expression profile of rat left ventricles reveals persisting changes following chronic mild exercise protocol: implications for cardioprotection 
BMC Genomics  2009;10:342.
Background
Epidemiological studies showed that physical exercise, specifically moderate lifelong training, is protective against cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Most experimental work has focused into the effects and molecular mechanisms underlying intense, rather than mild exercise, by exploring the acute effect of training. Our study aims at investigating the cardioprotective effect of mild chronic exercise training and the gene expression profile changes at 48 hrs after the exercise cessation. Rats were trained at mild intensity on a treadmill: 25 m/min, 10%incline, 1 h/day, 3 days/week, 10 weeks; about 60% of the maximum aerobic power. By Affymetrix technology, we investigated the gene expression profile induced by exercise training in the left ventricle (LV) of trained (n = 10) and control (n = 10) rats. Cardioprotection was investigated by ischemia/reperfusion experiments (n = 10 trained vs. n = 10 control rats).
Results
Mild exercise did not induce cardiac hypertrophy and was cardioprotective as demonstrated by the decreased infarct size (p = 0.02) after ischemia/reperfusion experiments in trained with respect to control rats. Ten genes and 2 gene sets (two pathways) resulted altered in LV of exercised animals with respect to controls. We validated by real-time PCR the increased expression of four genes: similar to C11orf17 protein (RGD1306959), caveolin 3, enolase 3, and hypoxia inducible factor 1 alpha. Moreover, caveolin 3 protein levels were higher in exercised than control rats by immunohistochemistry and Western Blot analysis. Interestingly, the predicted gene similar to C11orf17 protein (RGD1306959) was significantly increased by exercise. This gene has a high homology with the human C11orf17 (alias: protein kinase-A interacting protein 1 or breast cancer associated gene 3). This is the first evidence that this gene is involved in the response to the exercise training.
Conclusion
Our data indicated that few, but significant, genes characterize the gene expression profile of the rat LV, when examined 48 hrs since the last training section and that mild exercise training determines cardioprotection without the induction of hypertrophy.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-10-342
PMCID: PMC2907697  PMID: 19643001
2.  Cardiovascular evaluation, including resting and exercise electrocardiography, before participation in competitive sports: cross sectional study 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2008;337(7661):88-92.
Objective To evaluate the clinical usefulness of complete preparticipation cardiovascular screening in a large cohort of sports participants.
Design Cross sectional study of data over a five year period.
Setting Institute of Sports Medicine in Florence, Italy.
Participants 30 065 (23 570 men) people seeking to obtain clinical eligibility for competitive sports.
Main outcome measures Results of resting and exercise 12 lead electrocardiography.
Results Resting 12 lead ECG patterns showed abnormalities in 1812 (6%) participants, with the most common abnormalities (>80%) concerning innocent ECG changes. Exercise ECG showed an abnormal pattern in 1459 (4.9%) participants. Exercise ECG showed cardiac anomalies in 1227 athletes with normal findings on resting ECG. At the end of screening, 196 (0.6%) participants were considered ineligible for competitive sports. Among the 159 participants who were disqualified at the end of the screening for cardiac reasons, a consistent proportion (n=126, 79.2%) had shown innocent or negative findings on resting 12 lead ECG but clear pathological alterations during the exercise test. After adjustment for possible confounders, logistic regression analysis showed that age >30 years was significantly associated with an increased risk of being disqualified for cardiac findings during exercise testing.
Conclusions Among people seeking to take part in competitive sports, exercise ECG can identify those with cardiac abnormalities. Follow-up studies would show if disqualification of such people would reduce the incidence of CV events among athletes.
doi:10.1136/bmj.a346
PMCID: PMC2453296  PMID: 18599474
3.  Cardiovascular evaluation, including resting and exercise electrocardiography, before participation in competitive sports: cross sectional study 
Objective To evaluate the clinical usefulness of complete preparticipation cardiovascular screening in a large cohort of sports participants.
Design Cross sectional study of data over a five year period.
Setting Institute of Sports Medicine in Florence, Italy.
Participants 30 065 (23 570 men) people seeking to obtain clinical eligibility for competitive sports.
Main outcome measures Results of resting and exercise 12 lead electrocardiography.
Results Resting 12 lead ECG patterns showed abnormalities in 1812 (6%) participants, with the most common abnormalities (>80%) concerning innocent ECG changes. Exercise ECG showed an abnormal pattern in 1459 (4.9%) participants. Exercise ECG showed cardiac anomalies in 1227 athletes with normal findings on resting ECG. At the end of screening, 196 (0.6%) participants were considered ineligible for competitive sports. Among the 159 participants who were disqualified at the end of the screening for cardiac reasons, a consistent proportion (n=126, 79.2%) had shown innocent or negative findings on resting 12 lead ECG but clear pathological alterations during the exercise test. After adjustment for possible confounders, logistic regression analysis showed that age >30 years was significantly associated with an increased risk of being disqualified for cardiac findings during exercise testing.
Conclusions Among people seeking to take part in competitive sports, exercise ECG can identify those with cardiac abnormalities. Follow-up studies would show if disqualification of such people would reduce the incidence of CV events among athletes.
doi:10.1136/bmj.a346
PMCID: PMC2453296  PMID: 18599474

Results 1-3 (3)