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J Physiol Pharmacol. 2010 Dec;61(6):743-51.

Effect of 5-week moderate intensity endurance training on the oxidative stress, muscle specific uncoupling protein (UCP3) and superoxide dismutase (SOD2) contents in vastus lateralis of young, healthy men.

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Department of Physiology and Biochemistry, Faculty of Rehabilitation, University School of Physical Education, Cracow, Poland.


In the present study fifteen male subjects (age: 22.7 ± 0.5 years; BMI: 23.5 ± 0.6 kg x m⁻²; VO₂(max) 46.0 ± 1.0 mL x kg⁻¹ x min⁻¹) performed 5 week moderate intensity endurance training. The training resulted in a significant increase in maximal oxygen uptake (VO₂(max)) (P=0.048) and power output reached at VO₂(max) (P=0.0001). No effect of training on the uncoupling protein 3 (UCP3) content in the vastus lateralis was found (P>0.05). The improvement of physical capacity was accompanied by no changes in cytochrome-c and cytochrome-c oxidase contents in the vastus lateralis (P>0.05). However, the training resulted in an increase (P=0.02) in mitochondrial manganese superoxide dismutase (SOD2) content in this muscle. Moreover, a significant decrease (P=0.028) in plasma basal isoprostanes concentration [F₂isoprostanes](pl) accompanied by a clear tendency to lower (P=0.08) gluthatione disulfide concentration [GSSG](pl) and tendency to higher (P=0.08) total antioxidant capacity (TAC) was observed after the training. We have concluded that as little as 5 weeks of moderate intensity endurance training is potent to improve physical capacity and antioxidant protection in humans. Surprisingly, these effects occur before any measurable changes in UCP3 protein content. We postulate that the training-induced improvement in the antioxidant protection at the muscle level is due to an increase in SOD2 content and that therefore, the role of UCP3 in the enhancement of physical capacity and antioxidant protection, at least in the early stage of training, is rather questionable.

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