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FASEB J. 2004 Oct;18(13):1499-506.

Acute exercise activates nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB signaling pathway in rat skeletal muscle.

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Department of Kinesiology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.


Two studies were performed to investigate the effects of an acute bout of physical exercise on the nuclear protein kappaB (NF-kappaB) signaling pathway in rat skeletal muscle. In Study 1, a group of rats (n=6) was run on the treadmill at 25 m/min, 5% grade, for 1 h or until exhaustion (Ex), and compared with a second group (n=6) injected with two doses of pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC, 100 mg/kg, i.p.) 24 and 1 h prior to the acute exercise bout. Three additional groups of rats (n=6) were injected with either 8 mg/kg (i.p.) of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), 1 mmol/kg (i.p.) t-butylhydroperoxide (tBHP), or saline (C) and killed at resting condition. Ex rats showed higher levels of NF-kappaB binding and P50 protein content in muscle nuclear extracts compared with C rats. Cytosolic IkappaBalpha and IkappaB kinase (IKK) contents were decreased, whereas phospho-IkappaBalpha and phospho-IKK contents were increased, comparing Ex vs. C. The exercise-induced activation of NF-kappaB signaling cascade was partially abolished by PDTC treatment. LPS, but not tBHP, treatment mimicked and exaggerated the effects observed in Ex rats. In Study 2, the time course of exercise-induced NF-kappaB activation was examined. Highest levels of NF-kappaB binding were observed at 2 h postexercise. Decreased cytosolic IkappaBalpha and increased phosphor-IkappaBalpha content were found 0-1 h postexercise whereas P65 reached peak levels at 2-4 h. These data suggest that the NF-kappaB signaling pathway can be activated in a redox-sensitive manner during muscular contraction, presumably due to increased oxidant production. The cascade of intracellular events may be the overture to elevated gene expression of manganese superoxide dismutase reported earlier (Pfluegers Arch. 442, 426-434, 2001).

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