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Effects of high-intensity intermittent swimming on PGC-1α protein expression in rat skeletal muscle

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Abstract Aim: 

The aim of the present investigation was to elucidate the effects of exercise intensity on exercise-induced expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator-1α (PGC-1α) protein in rat skeletal muscle. Methods: 

We measured PGC-1α content in the skeletal muscles of male Sprague–Dawley rats (age: 5–6 weeks old; body weight: 150–170 g) after a single session of high-intensity intermittent exercise (HIE) or low-intensity prolonged swimming exercise (LIE). During HIE, the rats swam for fourteen 20-s periods carrying a weight (14% of body weight), and the periods of swimming were separated by a 10-s pause. LIE rats swam with no load for 6 h in two 3-h sessions, separated by 45 min of rest. Results: 

After HIE, the PGC-1α protein content in rat epitrochlearis muscle had increased by 126, 140 and 126% at 2, 6 and 18 h, respectively, compared with that of the age-matched sedentary control rats’ muscle. Immediately, 6 and 18-h after LIE, the PGC-1α protein content in the muscle was significantly elevated by 84, 95 and 67% respectively. The PGC-1α protein content observed 6 h after HIE tended to be higher than that observed after LIE. However, there was no statistically significant difference between the two values (P = 0.12). Conclusion: 

The present investigation suggests that irrespective of the intensity of the exercise, PGC-1α protein content in rat skeletal muscle increases to a comparable level when stimuli induced by different protocols are saturated. Further, HIE is a potent stimulus for enhancing the expression of PGC-1αprotein, which may induce mitochondrial biogenesis in exercise-activated skeletal muscle.

Keywords: AMP kinase; GLUT-4; glycogen; high-intensity intermittent exercise; low-intensity prolonged exercise; mitochondria

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1:  Niigata University of Health and Welfare, Shimami-cho, Niigata City, Niigata, Japan 2:  Molecular Medicine Laboratories, Institute for Drug Discovery Research, Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd, Miyukigaoka, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan 3:  Division of Health Promotion and Exercise, Incorporated Administrative Agency, National Institute of Health and Nutrition, Toyama, Shinjuku City, Tokyo, Japan

Publication date: May 1, 2005


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