Exercise promotes bone marrow cell survival and recipient reconstitution post-bone marrow transplantation, which is associated with increased survival
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Bone marrow transplantation (BMT) is associated with a high risk of mortality, partially because of the harmful effects of the preconditioning myeloablative regimens. We have recently demonstrated increased bone marrow cell survival and proliferation in response to exercise training, which may be attributable to increased quality of the niche. The purpose of the present study was to determine the extent to which exercise preconditioning of recipients could increase the success of BMT. Recipient mice remained sedentary (SED) or were exercise-trained (EX) on a treadmill (3 d/wk for 8 weeks) before reconstitution with green fluorescent protein (GFP)-labeled donor marrow. Recipient survival, both donor-derived and total (donor- and recipient-derived) blood reconstitution were measured by flow cytometry. The first and fourth day after BMT apoptosis, cellularity and donor cell homing were determined in the recipients' bone marrow cavity by flow cytometry. Whereas only 25% of SED mice survived, 82% of EX recipients survived the BMT. Homing of donor-derived marrow cells to the recipients' marrow cavity acutely after BMT was not altered in EX, but EX mice displayed decreased levels (10%; p < 0.05) of activated caspase-3/-7 one day after BMT, leading to a maintenance of marrow cellularity in mice preconditioned with exercise. The acute inhibition of marrow cell apoptosis in EX mice resulted in increased total blood cell reconstitution at 1 and 3.5 months after BMT in EX mice (42% and 43%, respectively; both p < 0.05). Short- and long-term donor-derived engraftment was not different between EX and SED recipients. Exercise training increases recipient survival after BMT with increased total blood cell reconstitution.
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