The high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and curcumin supplementation can positively regulate the autophagy pathway in myocardial cells of STZ-induced diabetic rats

Objective: Targeting autophagy is a new therapeutic strategy for the complications of diabetes,such as diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM). During diabetes, increased or insufficient autophagic activity causes aberrations in cellular homeostasis. Regarding the conflicting and unclear results regarding the effect of HIIT and curcumin supplementation on the expression of genes associated to autophagy, this study aimed to assess whether 4-week high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and curcumin supplementation are able to influence the expression of autophagy-related genes in myocardial cells of diabetic rats.

Methods: In an experimental design, 24 male Wistar rats were randomly divided into 4 groups: non-diabetic control (NC), diabetic control (DC), diabetes + HIIT (D + HIIT), and diabetes + curcumin (D + CU). After HIIT program and curcumin treatment, the genes expression of autophagy pathway were assessed in the myocardium by real-time PCR Tanique.

Results: The results indicated that the expression levels of ATG1, Beclin1, ATG5, and LAMP-2 genes were significantly reduced in the DC group compared to the NC group (p < 0.001). Following 4-week HIIT, the expression of Beclin1, ATG-5, and LAMP-2 improved considerably compared to the DC group (p < 0.001, p < 0.001, and p < 0.05, respectively). In addition, after 4 weeks of curcumin supplementation, the expression levels of ATG-5 and Beclin-1 were significantly improved compared to the DC group (p < 0.001, p < 0.05, respectively). It seems HIIT and curcumin supplementation can be an effective approach for inducing autophagy and improving cardiac function in DCM rats.However, HIIT seems more effective than curcumin in this regard.