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Exp Physiol. 2008 Jul;93(7):863-71. doi: 10.1113/expphysiol.2008.042069. Epub 2008 Mar 20.

Exercise training in late middle-aged male Fischer 344 x Brown Norway F1-hybrid rats improves skeletal muscle aerobic function.

Author information

1
Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 1N4. abetik@kin.ucalgary.ca

Abstract

The Fischer 344 x Brown Norway F1-hybrid (F344BN) rat has become an increasingly popular and useful strain for studying age-related declines in skeletal muscle function because this strain lives long enough to experience significant declines in muscle mass. Since exercise is often considered a mechanism to combat age-related declines in muscle function, determining the utility of this strain of rat for studying the effects of exercise on the ageing process is necessary. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the plasticity of skeletal muscle aerobic function in late middle-aged male rats following 7 weeks of treadmill exercise training. Training consisted of 60 min per day, 5 days per week with velocity gradually increasing over the training period according to the capabilities of individual rats. The final 3 weeks involved 2 min high-intensity intervals to increase the training stimulus. We used in situ skeletal muscle aerobic metabolic responses and in vitro assessment of muscle mitochondrial oxidative capacity to describe the adaptations of aerobic function from the training. Training increased running endurance from 11.3 +/- 0.6 to 15.5 +/- 0.8 min, an improvement of approximately 60%. Similarly, distal hindlimb muscles from trained rats exhibited a higher maximal oxygen consumption in situ (23.2 +/- 1.3 versus 19.7 +/- 0.8 mumol min(-1) for trained versus sedentary rats, respectively) and greater citrate synthase and complex IV enzyme activities in gastrocnemius (29 and 19%, respectively) and plantaris muscles (24 and 28%, respectively) compared with age-matched sedentary control animals. Our results demonstrate that skeletal muscles from late middle-aged rats adapt to treadmill exercise by improving skeletal muscle aerobic function and mitochondrial enzyme activities. This rat strain seems suitable for further investigations using exercise as an intervention to combat ageing-related declines of skeletal muscle aerobic function.

PMID:
18356556
DOI:
10.1113/expphysiol.2008.042069
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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