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Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2012 May;205(1):159-66. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-1716.2011.02381.x. Epub 2011 Dec 6.

Satellite cell pool enhancement in rat plantaris muscle by endurance training depends on intensity rather than duration.

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Department of Exercise Physiology, School of Physical Education, Tokai University, Hiratsuka, Kanagawa, Japan.



Increases in the number of satellite cells are necessary for the maintenance of normal muscle function. Endurance training enhances the satellite cell pool. However, it remains unclear whether exercise intensity or exercise duration is more important to enhance the satellite cell pool. This study examined the effects of different intensity and duration of endurance training on the satellite cell pool in rat skeletal muscle.


Forty-one 17-week-old female Sprague-Dawley rats were assigned to control (n = 8), high intensity and high duration (n = 7), high intensity and low duration (n = 8), low intensity and high duration (n = 9) and low intensity and low duration (n = 9) groups. Training groups exercised 5 days per week on a motor driven treadmill for 10 weeks. After the training period, animals were anaesthetized and the plantaris muscles were removed, weighed and analysed for immunohistochemical and histochemical properties.


Although no significant differences were found in muscle mass, mean fibre area and myonuclei per muscle fibre between all groups, the percentage of satellite cells was significantly higher in the high-intensity groups than in the other groups (P < 0.05).


Increases in the satellite cell pool of skeletal muscle following endurance training depend on the intensity rather than duration of exercise.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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