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Circulating microvesicles responses to exercise and heat stress


Project description

The cardiovascular system and how it adapts to stresses like daily exercise and what occurs in disease processes like coronary artery disease are important when considering public health policy. The continuous flow of blood and the substances within stimulate new blood vessel formation or whether those vessels become occluded and lead to a heart attack. One newly identified substance in the blood is the microvesicle, and how important it is in normal health was poorly understood. 

This PhD project examined the factors that determined the concentrations and types of microvesicles in the blood and how they interacted with the cells that line blood vessels throughout the body called endothelial cells. The specific aims of the studies included in this project were three-fold: 1) Determine whether exercise intensity was a key factor that causes an increase in concentrations of these microvesicles in the blood, 2) determine if blood flow was responsible for any increases with exercise or heat stress and 3) determine what effects these microvesicles had on endothelial cells. 

The results of this project are being used to guide exercise prescription in different populations and to figure out how best to stimulate the growth of new blood vessels in health and disease. 

Research Outputs 

Wilhelm EN, González-Alonso J, Chiesa ST, Trangmar SJ, Kalsi KK & Rakobowchuk M (2017). Whole body heat stress and intense exercise stimulate appearance of platelet microvesicles in plasma with limited influence of vascular shear rate. Physiol Rep 5(21), e13496.  

Wilhelm EN, González-Alonso J, Parris C, Rakobowchuk M (2016). Exercise intensity modulates appearance of circulating microvesicles with pro-angiogenic potential upon endothelial cell. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 311, H1297-H1310.