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Endocrinology. 2007 Jul;148(7):3441-8. Epub 2007 Apr 19.

An increase in murine skeletal muscle peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator-1alpha (PGC-1alpha) mRNA in response to exercise is mediated by beta-adrenergic receptor activation.

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Nutritional Science Program, National Institute of Health and Nutrition, 1-23-1, Toyama, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8636, Japan.


A single bout of exercise increases expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator (PGC)-1alpha mRNA, which may promote mitochondrial biogenesis in skeletal muscle. In brown adipose tissue, cold exposure up-regulates PGC-1alpha expression via adrenergic receptor (AR) activation. Because exercise also activates the sympathetic nervous system, we examined whether exercise-induced increase in PGC-1alpha mRNA expression in skeletal muscle was mediated via AR activation. In C57BL/6J mice, injection of the beta2-AR agonist clenbuterol, but not alpha-, beta1-, or beta3-AR agonists, increased PGC-1alpha mRNA expression more than 30-fold in skeletal muscle. The clenbuterol-induced increase in PGC-1alpha mRNA expression in mice was inhibited by pretreatment with the beta-AR antagonist propranolol. In ex vivo experiments, direct exposure of rat epitrochlearis to beta2-AR agonist, but not alpha-, beta1-, and beta3-AR agonist, led to an increase in levels of PGC-1alpha mRNA. Injection of beta2-AR agonist did not increase PGC-1alpha mRNA expression in beta1-, beta2-, and beta3-AR knockout mice (beta-less mice). PGC-1alpha mRNA in gastrocnemius was increased 3.5-fold in response to running on a treadmill for 45 min. The exercise-induced increase in PGC-1alpha mRNA was inhibited by approximately 70% by propranolol or the beta2-AR-specific inhibitor ICI 118,551. The exercise-induced increase in PGC-1alpha mRNA in beta-less mice was also 36% lower than that in wild-type mice. These data indicate that up-regulation of PGC-1alpha expression in skeletal muscle by exercise is mediated, at least in part, by beta-ARs activation. Among ARs, beta2-AR may mediate an increase in PGC-1alpha by exercise.

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