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Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2004 May;286(5):E852-61. Epub 2004 Jan 21.

Effects of short- and medium-term calorie restriction on muscle mitochondrial proton leak and reactive oxygen species production.

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Dept. of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Univ. of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1H 8M5.


Reductions in cellular oxygen consumption (Vo2) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production have been proposed as mechanisms underlying the anti-aging effects of calorie restriction (CR). Mitochondria are a cell's greatest "sink" for oxygen and also its primary source of ROS. The mitochondrial proton leak pathway is responsible for 20-30% of Vo2 in resting cells. We hypothesized that CR leads to decreased proton leak with consequential decreases in Vo2, ROS production, and cellular damage. Here, we report the effects of short-term (2-wk, 2-mo) and medium-term (6-mo) CR (40%) on rat muscle mitochondrial proton leak, ROS production, and whole animal Vo2. Whole body Vo2 decreased with CR at all time points, whereas mass-adjusted Vo2 was normal until the 6-mo time point, when it was 40% lower in CR compared with control rats. At all time points, maximal leak-dependent Vo2 was lower in CR rats compared with controls. Proton leak kinetics indicated that mechanisms of adaptation to CR were different between short- and medium-term treatments, with the former leading to decreases in protonmotive force (Deltap) and state 4 Vo2 and the latter to increases in Deltap and decreases in state 4 Vo2. Results from metabolic control analyses of oxidative phosphorylation are consistent with the idea that short- and medium-term responses are distinct. Mitochondrial H2O2 production was lower in all three CR groups compared with controls. Overall, this study details the rapid effects of short- and medium-term CR on proton leak, ROS production, and metabolic control of oxidative phosphorylation. Results indicate that a reduction in mitochondrial Vo2 and ROS production may be a mechanism for the actions of CR.

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