Nature Medicine 2019 paper by the Nahrendorf group on the protective effects of exercise against cardiovascular disease.

The Center for Systems Biology of Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston, USA), beneficiary in the REPROGRAM consortium, published a high impact paper on how exercise reduces inflammatory cell production and cardiovascular inflammation via instruction of hematopoietic progenitor cells.

Even though cardiovascular therapeutics have advanced rapidly, the number of patients globally with atherosclerosis and its complications is on the rise. Changes in lifestyle including an unhealthy diet, low physical activity and obesity, contribute to this worldwide epidemic. Despite current management strategies, many individuals still develop first or recurrent cardiovascular events, such as myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, heart failure or limb ischemia. Mechanistically, inflammation accounts for some of this residual risk, specifically the cytokine interleukin-1b, can lower cardiovascular events in selected patients already receiving aggressive management, including highly effective statin treatment.

The cellular protagonists of arterial wall inflammation include leukocytes of several classes, notably macrophages, monocytes and neutrophils. Monocyte and neutrophil blood counts associate with cardiovascular disease (CVD) progression and death. The group of Prof. Matthias Nahrendorf focused on improving current understanding of the signals that lead to overproduction of inflammatory leukocytes and provide strategies to reduce inflammatory cardiovascular events. In this concept, the mechanisms by which physical exercise could mitigate cardiovascular inflammation are comprehensively studied and results are published in the following paper:

Frodermann V, Rohde D, Courties G, Severe N, Schloss MJ, Amatullah H, McAlpine CS, Cremer S, Hoyer FF, Ji F, van Koeverden ID, Herisson F, Honold L, Masson GS, Zhang S, Grune J, Iwamoto Y, Schmidt SP, Wojtkiewicz GR, Lee IH, Gustafsson K, Pasterkamp G, de Jager SCA, Sadreyev RI, MacFadyen J, Libby P, Ridker P, Scadden DT, Naxerova K, Jeffrey KL, Swirski FK, Nahrendorf M. Exercise reduces inflammatory cell production and cardiovascular inflammation via instruction of hematopoietic progenitor cells. Nature Med. 2019;25(11):1761-1771 – PMID: 31700184 – PMCID: PMC6858591 – DOI: 10.1038/s41591-019-0633-x

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement N°667837.