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Background. In recent years, diabetes has become a global health problem. Apoptosis of pancreatic beta cells plays an important role in the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes. Exercise as a non-pharmacological strategy to reduce the diabetic-induced complications has always been of interest to researchers. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of aerobic exercise on levels of Bax, Bcl-2 and Bax/Bcl-2 ratio in pancreatic tissue of streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats. Materials and methods. A total number of 40 male Wistar rats (10 weeks old, 200–250 gr weight) were randomly divided into healthy control (HC), healthy trained (HT), diabetic control (DC), and diabetic trained (DT) groups. Diabetes was also induced by a single intraperitoneally injection of streptozocin (45 mg/kg). The training groups performed the exercise on the treadmill for five consecutive days within six weeks. The pancreatic tissue levels of the Bax and the Bcl-2 proteins were further determined via ELISA method. Results. The results showed that the induction of diabetes had significantly decreased the levels of Bcl-2 protein and increased the levels of Bax protein and Bax/Bcl-2 ratio in the pancreatic tissue (p < 0.05). As well, the findings showed that six weeks of aerobic exercise training had significantly increased the levels of Bcl-2 and significantly decreased the levels of Bax protein in DT group. Also, the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio reduced significantly in DT group (p < 0.05). The increase in displacement and transmission of apoptosis inducing factor (AIF) that have seen in oxidative stress status, is reduced in the tissues of trained individuals which indicating of the inhibition in the apoptotic signaling. Conclusions. According to the results of this study, exercise can be considered as an effective strategy to reduce the rate of diabetic-induced apoptosis and control its complications.
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