Effect of an eight-week high-intensity interval training programme on circulating sphingolipid levels in middle-aged adults at elevated cardiometabolic risk (SphingoFIT)—Protocol for a randomised controlled exercise trial

Justin Carrard, Manuel Hofer, Luisa Prechtl, Eva Fleischlin, Manuel Huber, Hector Gallart-Ayala, Tony Teav, Denis Infanger, Christoph Höchsmann, Karsten Koehler, Timo Hinrichs, Henner Hanssen, Julijana Ivanisevic, Arno Schmidt-Trucksäss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction Evidence indicates that sphingolipid accumulation drives complex molecular alterations promoting cardiometabolic diseases. Clinically, it was shown that sphingolipids predict cardiometabolic risk independently of and beyond traditional biomarkers such as low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. To date, little is known about therapeutic modalities to lower sphingolipid levels. Exercise, a powerful means to prevent and treat cardiometabolic diseases, is a promising modality to mitigate sphingolipid levels in a cost-effective, safe, and patient-empowering manner. Methods This randomised controlled trial will explore whether and to what extent an 8-week fitness-enhancing training programme can lower serum sphingolipid levels of middle-aged adults at elevated cardiometabolic risk (n = 98, 50% females). The exercise intervention will consist of supervised high-intensity interval training (three sessions weekly), while the control group will receive physical activity counselling based on current guidelines. Blood will be sampled early in the morning in a fasted state before and after the 8-week programme. Participants will be provided with individualised, pre-packaged meals for the two days preceding blood sampling to minimise potential confounding. An’omic-scale sphingolipid profiling, using high-coverage reversed-phase liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry, will be applied to capture the circulating sphingolipidome. Maximal cardiopulmonary exercise tests will be performed before and after the 8-week programme to assess patient fitness changes. Cholesterol, triglycerides, glycated haemoglobin, the homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance, static retinal vessel analysis, flow-mediated dilatation, and strain analysis of the heart cavities will also be assessed pre- and post-intervention. This study shall inform whether and to what extent exercise can be used as an evidence-based treatment to lower circulating sphingolipid levels.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0302477
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume19
Issue number5 May
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2024
Externally publishedYes

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