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Int J Sports Med. 2004 Oct;25(7):502-8.

Effect of voluntary exercise on the expression of IGF-I and androgen receptor in three rat skeletal muscles and on serum IGF-I and testosterone levels.

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Institute of Morphology and Tumor Research, German Sport University Cologne, 50933 Cologne, Germany.


The effects of anabolic agents and training on skeletal muscle are believed to be mediated by a variety of growth and transcription factors. Among these regulatory proteins, insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) and androgen receptor (AR) play a crucial role. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of wheel running on IGF-I and AR mRNA expression in three distinct rat skeletal muscles (i.e., gastrocnemius, vastus lateralis, and soleus), as well as on the serum levels of IGF-I and testosterone. Twenty male Wistar rats were housed in cages with free access to running wheels for 12 weeks, while nine rats served as controls. Analysis of the mRNA expression of IGF-I and AR using real time RT-PCR revealed no significant differences between the trained and untrained rats in any of the muscles studied. Enzyme immunoassay showed significantly lower serum levels of IGF-I and testosterone in the trained compared to the untrained animals. These results suggest that chronic exercise in wheels does not affect IGF-I and AR mRNA levels in rat skeletal muscle, while decreasing the circulating levels of two anabolic factors, i.e., IGF-I and testosterone. It is concluded that IGF-I, AR and testosterone seem to play a marginal role during the adaptation process of rat skeletal muscle to long-term wheel running.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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