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Eur J Appl Physiol. 2013 Apr;113(4):951-63. doi: 10.1007/s00421-012-2504-8. Epub 2012 Oct 2.

Exercise with low glycogen increases PGC-1α gene expression in human skeletal muscle.

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  • 1The Åstrand Laboratory of Work Physiology, GIH, The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, Box 5626, 114 86 Stockholm, Sweden. niklas.psilander@gih.se

Abstract

Recent studies suggest that carbohydrate restriction can improve the training-induced adaptation of muscle oxidative capacity. However, the importance of low muscle glycogen on the molecular signaling of mitochondrial biogenesis remains unclear. Here, we compare the effects of exercise with low (LG) and normal (NG) glycogen on different molecular factors involved in the regulation of mitochondrial biogenesis. Ten highly trained cyclists (VO(2max) 65 ± 1 ml/kg/min, W max 387 ± 8 W) exercised for 60 min at approximately 64 % VO(2max) with either low [166 ± 21 mmol/kg dry weight (dw)] or normal (478 ± 33 mmol/kg dw) muscle glycogen levels achieved by prior exercise/diet intervention. Muscle biopsies were taken before, and 3 h after, exercise. The mRNA of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1 was enhanced to a greater extent when exercise was performed with low compared with normal glycogen levels (8.1-fold vs. 2.5-fold increase). Cytochrome c oxidase subunit I and pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase isozyme 4 mRNA were increased after LG (1.3- and 114-fold increase, respectively), but not after NG. Phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases and acetyl-CoA carboxylase was not changed 3 h post-exercise. Mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production and glutathione oxidative status tended to be reduced 3 h post-exercise. We conclude that exercise with low glycogen levels amplifies the expression of the major genetic marker for mitochondrial biogenesis in highly trained cyclists. The results suggest that low glycogen exercise may be beneficial for improving muscle oxidative capacity.

PMID:
23053125
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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