Evaluation of Collagen Fibers, MMP2, MMP9, 8-OHdG and Apoptosis in the Aorta of Ovariectomized LDL Knockout Mice Submitted to Aerobic Exercise

Abstract Background: In menopause, there is greater cellular exposure to oxidative stress, related to the decreased antioxidative effects of estrogen. These metabolic changes favor the progression of cardiovascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis. Abnormal function of the aorta - the most important artery - is associated with many cardiovascular diseases. Collagen, especially types I and III, is one of the most important aortic wall components and it can be affected by many factors, including menopause. The 8-OHdG is one of the main markers of DNA oxidative damage induced by reactive oxygen species (ROS). Objective: We aimed to investigate effects of moderate aerobic training on the ascending aorta of LDL-knockout (LDL-KO) and ovariectomized female mice. Methods: A total of 15 C57BL/6 mice and 15 LDL-KO mice were divided into experimental groups. The thickness and volume density of types I and III collagen fibers were performed by morphoquantitative analysis, whereas the MMP-2 and MMP-9 and 8-OHdG were detected by immunohistochemistry and apoptosis was detected by the TUNEL assay. The significance level for all tests was p < 0.05. Results: Exercise causes an increase in the thickness of the aorta in LDL-KO groups, particularly accentuated in the ovariectomized groups. The type I collagen fibers showed an increase in volume density influenced by training in both Control groups and in the LDL-KO group. Type III collagen density decreased in both groups. The MMP-2 showed moderade immunostaining in the tunica media in LDL-KO groups, which did not occur in the control groups and the MMP-9 stained irregularly in all tissues. The marker 8-OhdG was stronger in the exercise training groups. Additionally, the ovariectomy, the exercise training and the LDL-KO treatments increased apoptosis. Conclusion: These results suggest that moderate-intensity aerobic exercise in ovariectomized mice associated to an increase in LDL rate possibly increases oxidative stress and apoptosis induction.