Exercise is recognized to prevent and attenuate several metabolic and cardiovascular disorders. Obesity is commonly related to cardiovascular diseases, frequently resulting in heart failure and death. To elucidate the effects of acute exercise in heart tissue from obese animals, 12-week-old C57BL6/J obese (ob/ob) and non-obese (ob/OB) mice were submitted to a single bout of swimming and had their hearts analyzed by proteomic techniques. Mice were divided into three groups: control (ob/ob, n = 3; ob/OB, n = 3); a moderate intensity consisting of 20 min of swimming around 90% of Maximal Lactate Steady State (ob/ob, n = 3; ob/OB, n = 3), and a high intensity exercise performed as an incremental overload test (ob/ob, n = 3; ob/OB, n = 3). Obesity modulations were analyzed by comparing ob/ob and ob/OB control groups. Differential 2-DE analysis revealed that single session of exercise was able to up-regulate: myoglobin (ob/ob), aspartate aminotransferase (ob/OB) and zinc finger protein (ob/OB) and down-regulate: nucleoside diphosphate kinase B (ob/OB), mitochondrial aconitase (ob/ob and ob/OB) and fatty acid binding protein (ob/ob). Zinc finger protein and α-actin were up-regulated by the effect of obesity on heart proteome. These data demonstrate the immediate response of metabolic and stress-related proteins after exercise so as contractile protein by obesity modulation on heart proteome. J. Cell. Physiol. 228: 824–834, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.