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Vascular pulsations stimulating nitric oxide release during cyclic exercise may benefit health: A molecular approach (Review)

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It is widely assumed that all exercise, regardless of the degree of difficulty or strenuousness, is good (no pain-no gain). In this speculative review of the literature and our research findings we highlight the fact that strenuous exercise taken to the extreme initiates an immune and vascular proinflammatory situation. However, mild cyclic exercise appears to produce health benefits for an individual. In part, this is due to vascular cyclic pulsations, occurring in mild exercise, stimulating constitutive nitric oxide synthase derived nitric oxide release. This in turn down-regulates vascular endothelial cells and immunocytes, as well as their interaction and inhibits the disassociation of NF-κB, preventing the production of proinflammatory cytokines. The nitric oxide so generated may even scavenge excess free radicals, preventing tissue damage. Prolonged strenuous exercise appears to limit these positive phenomena because of the maintained and prolonged high blood pressure that reduces the cyclic pulsations, limiting nitric oxide production. We further note that pathological conditions, i.e., Parkinson's disorder, may benefit from mild exercise, i.e., cyclic nitric oxide production, since the inactivity associated with this disease may lead to compromised nitric oxide production, initiating a progressive deterioration of tissues, including peripheral adrenergic neurons, due to a lack of adequate basal nitric oxide levels required to maintain the vascular microenvironment in a mild state of inhibition. We conclude that mild exercise represents an alternate and economical therapy to preserve health and/or diminish the rate of decline of the normal physiological processes that may even be associated with aging.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Neuroscience Research Institute, State University of New York at Old Westbury, Old Westbury, NY 11568, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2001

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Molecular Medicine is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication of high quality studies related to the molecular mechanisms of human disease. The journal welcomes research on all aspects of molecular and clinical research, ranging from biochemistry to immunology, pathology, genetics, human genomics, microbiology, molecular pathogenesis, molecular cardiology, molecular surgery and molecular psychology.

    The International Journal of Molecular Medicine aims to provide an insight for researchers within the community in regard to developing molecular tools and identifying molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of a diverse number of human diseases.
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