Introduction: Oxidative stress and hypoxia/reperfusion can damage cells and lead to apoptosis in cardiomyocytes. Physical activities and antioxidants supplementations have shown to have potent anti-apoptotic properties. This study aimed to determine the interactive effect of forced swimming and Crocin supplementation on apoptotic and anti-apoptotic cardiomyocytes gene expression in male rats infected with H2O2.
Methods: Thirty-six male Wistar rats were divided randomly into six groups of sham, control, H2O2, H2O2+forced swimming, H2O2+ Crocin, H2O2+ forced swimming, and H2O2+ forced swimming+ Crocin. The forced swimming protocol was two stages. Crocin injected a dose of 12.5 mg/kg through the intraperitoneal route. Real-time PCR was used to reveal the expression of Bcl2, Bax, and Caspas3 genes. Also, apoptosis was evaluated by TUNEL staining.
Results: H2O2 exposure was associated with a significant increase in the apoptotic gene expression of BAX and caspase3 and a decrease in anti-apoptotic BCL-2 gene expression. Administration of Crocin and six weeks of forced swimming resulted in a significant decrease in the expression of BAX. Also, treatment accompanied by forced swimming and Crocin significantly reduced the expression of caspase3 and increased BCL-2 expression as compared to the H2O2 group.
Conclusion: Our results reveal that regular forced swimming and Crocin consumption led to a significant reduction in gene expression of BAX and caspase3 and the significant increase in anti-apoptotic gene expression of BCL-2 in rats' cardiomyocytes.