Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




Dr. Earl Noble


This study examined the effect of sedentary living versus low intensity exercise training on insulin sensitivity and vascular responsiveness and on the eNOS-Hsp90 interaction in rat aorta. It was hypothesized that sedentary living would result in decreased insulin sensitivity and vascular responsiveness coupled with a decreased eNOS-Hsp90 interaction and that long term low intensity exercise would prevent these changes. Thirty male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into exercise (E), sedentary (S), and baseline (B) groups. E rats exercised on a treadmill up to a speed of

15 m/min for 30 min, 4 d/wk, for 14-17 wks. Average body weights were not significantly different between the E and S groups throughout the entire study. HOMA- IR values were greater in both E and S groups at week 14 compared to week 0 (P<0.05). Insulin caused dose-dependent vasorelaxation responses in isolated aortic rings which were lower in the E group compared to the S group at several insulin concentrations (P<0.05). The B group had a greater rate of change in insulin-mediated vasorelaxation compared to both E and S groups (P<0.05). The level of eNOS and Hsp90 protein interaction was not significantly different between the E, S, and B groups. In summary, long term sedentary living resulted in decreased insulin sensitivity, which low intensity exercise training did not prevent. Contrary to the hypothesis, long term low intensity exercise resulted in decreased insulin-mediated vasorelaxation of the aorta with no change in the eNOS-Hsp90 interaction



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