Research Paper Volume 12, Issue 2 pp 1201—1212

Increased serum salusin-α by aerobic exercise training correlates with improvements in arterial stiffness in middle-aged and older adults

Shumpei Fujie1,2,3, , Natsuki Hasegawa4, , Kiyoshi Sanada5, , Takafumi Hamaoka6, , Seiji Maeda1, , Jaume Padilla3,7, , Luis A. Martinez-Lemus3,8, , Motoyuki Iemitsu5, ,

  • 1 Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan
  • 2 Research Fellow of Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Tokyo, Japan
  • 3 Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA
  • 4 Research Organization of Science and Technology, Ritsumeikan University, Shiga, Japan
  • 5 Faculty of Sport and Health Science, Ritsumeikan University, Shiga, Japan
  • 6 Sports Medicine for Health Promotion, Tokyo Medical University, Tokyo, Japan
  • 7 Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65201, USA
  • 8 Department of Medical Pharmacology and Physiology, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65212, USA

Received: October 8, 2019       Accepted: December 25, 2019       Published: January 9, 2020
How to Cite

Copyright: © 2020 Fujie et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Aging causes arterial stiffening which can be mitigated by increased physical activity. Although low circulating levels of salusin-α are associated with cardiovascular disease, whether salusin-α decreases with aging and whether the reduced arterial stiffening occurring with exercise training is associated with increased serum salusin-α is unknown. Herein we assessed carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (cfPWV), systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressures in a cross-sectional study that compared young (20-39-year-old, n=45) versus middle-aged and older (40-80-year-old, n=60) subjects. We also performed an interventional study in which 36 young and 40 middle-aged and older subjects underwent eight weeks of aerobic exercise training. In the cross-sectional study, serum salusin-α levels were lesser in middle-aged and older subjects compared to young individuals and negatively correlated with age, SBP, DBP, or cfPWV. In the interventional study, exercise training increased serum salusin-α in middle-aged and older subjects. Notably, negative correlations were noted between the exercise training-induced changes in serum salusin-α and cfPWV, SBP and DBP. Results indicate that advanced age associates with low circulating salusin-α, the levels of which can be augmented by exercise training. Importantly, increased serum salusin-α with exercise correlates with improvements in arterial stiffness and a reduction in blood pressure.


CVD: cardiovascular disease; PWV: pulse wave velocity; AT: aerobic exercise training; TNF-α: tumor necrosis factor-α; Jak: janus kinase; BMI: body mass index; cfPWV: carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity; SBP: systolic blood pressure; DBP: diastolic blood pressure; MBP: mean blood pressure; ccIMT: common carotid intima-media thickness; HR: heart rate; HDL: high-density lipoprotein; VO2peak: peak oxygen uptake; RPE: rating of perceived exertion; ELISA: enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; SE: standard error.