Vascular endothelium-derived factors and arterial stiffness in strength- and endurance-trained men

Takeshi Otsuki, Seiji Maeda*, Motoyuki Iemitsu, Yoko Saito, Yuko Tanimura, Ryuichi Ajisaka, Takashi Miyauchi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Citations (Scopus)


Arterial stiffness is higher in strength-trained humans and lower in endurance-trained humans. However, the mechanisms underlying these different adaptations are unclear. Vascular endothelium-derived factors, such as endothelin-1 (ET-1) and nitric oxide (NO), play an important role in the regulation of vascular tonus. We hypothesized that endogenous ET-1 and NO participate in the adaptation of arterial stiffness in different types of exercise training. The purpose of this study was to investigate plasma ET-1 and NO concentrations and arterial stiffness in strength- and endurance-trained men. Young strength-trained athletes (SA; n = 11), endurance-trained athletes (EA; n = 12), and sedentary control men (C; n = 12) participated in this study. Maximal handgrip strength in SA and maximal oxygen uptake in EA were markedly greater than in C. Aortic pulse-wave velocity, which is an established index of arterial stiffness, was higher in SA and lower in EA than in C. Additionally, we measured systemic arterial compliance (SAC) using carotid artery applanation tonometry and Doppler echocardiography, because arterial stiffness is a primary determinant of the compliance. SAC was lower in SA and higher in EA compared with that in C. Plasma ET-1 concentrations were higher in SA compared with C and EA. We did not find significant differences in plasma NO concentrations (measured as the stable end product of NO, i.e., nitrite/nitrate). The relationships of plasma ET-1 concentrations to aortic pulse-wave velocity and SAC were linear. These results suggest that differences in endogenous ET-1 may partly participate in the mechanism underlying different adaptations of arterial stiffness in strength- and endurance-trained men.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H786-H791
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Feb
Externally publishedYes


  • Arterial compliance
  • Endothelin-1
  • Nitric oxide
  • Pulse-wave velocity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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