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Acta Physiol Scand. 2005 May;184(1):59-65.

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

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1
Division of Health Promotion and Exercise, Incorporated Administrative Agency, National Institute of Health and Nutrition, Toyama, Shinjuku City, Tokyo, Japan.

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 gamma coactivator-1alpha (PGC-1alpha) protein in rat skeletal muscle.

METHODS:

We measured PGC-1alpha 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-1alpha 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-1alpha protein content in the muscle was significantly elevated by 84, 95 and 67% respectively. The PGC-1alpha 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-1alpha 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-1alpha protein, which may induce mitochondrial biogenesis in exercise-activated skeletal muscle.

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