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  • 1 Department of Exercise Physiology, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Birjand, Birjand, Islamic Republic of Iran
  • | 2 Cellular and Molecular Endocrine Research Center, Research Institute for Endocrine Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
  • | 3 Cellular and Molecular Research Center, Birjand University of Medical Sciences, Birjand, Islamic Republic of Iran
  • | 4 Exercise Biochemistry Laboratory, Department of Exercise Science and Health Promotion, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL, 33431, USA
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Abstract

This study was to investigate whether high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and saffron aqueous extract (SAE) would provide a synergistic effect to improve tumor volume reduction and also modulate pro- and anti-apoptotic protein expression in tumor tissue of 4T1 breast cancer-bearing mice. Female mice following induction of breast cancer through injection of 4T1 cell lines were randomly divided into four groups: (1) HIIT, (2) SAE, (3) HIIT+ SAE, and (4) control. The tumor volume was significantly lower in the HIIT, SAE, and HIIT+SAE groups than in the controls. The protein level of caspase-3 in the HIIT and the SAE groups was higher than in the control and the HIIT+SAE groups. The Bax protein level in the SAE group was higher than in the control. The HIIT+SAE group showed a lower level of Bax than the HIIT and the SAE groups. The protein level of Bcl-2 was higher in the HIIT+SAE vs. both the HIIT and the SAE groups. Finally, the ratio of Bax/Bcl-2 was significantly higher in the HIIT and the SAE groups than in the HIIT+SAE and control groups. These findings indicate that a combination of HIIT and SAE interventions does not improve the apoptotic induction in tumor tissue, while both HIIT and SAE treatments may mediate apoptotic pathway as evinced by the elevated ratio of Bax/Bcl-2 and caspase-3 levels during tumor progression in breast cancer-bearing mice.

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