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J Physiol. 2015 Sep 15;593(18):4275-84. doi: 10.1113/JP271219.

Rapamycin does not prevent increases in myofibrillar or mitochondrial protein synthesis following endurance exercise.

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School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.
Neurobiology, Physiology and Behaviour, University of California, Davis, CA, USA.
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program, University of California, San Diego, CA, USA.
School of Sport, University of Stirling, Stirling, UK.
Department of Kinesiology, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, CA.


The present study aimed to investigate the role of the mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) in the regulation of myofibrillar (MyoPS) and mitochondrial (MitoPS) protein synthesis following endurance exercise. Forty-two female C57BL/6 mice performed 1 h of treadmill running (18 m min(-1) ; 5° grade), 1 h after i.p. administration of rapamycin (1.5 mg · kg(-1) ) or vehicle. To quantify skeletal muscle protein fractional synthesis rates, a flooding dose (50 mg · kg(-1) ) of l-[ring-(13) C6 ]phenylalanine was administered via i.p. injection. Blood and gastrocnemius muscle were collected in non-exercised control mice, as well as at 0.5, 3 and 6 h after completing exercise (n = 4 per time point). Skeletal muscle MyoPS and MitoPS were determined by measuring isotope incorporation in their respective protein pools. Activation of the mTORC1-signalling cascade was measured via direct kinase activity assay and immunoblotting, whereas genes related to mitochondrial biogenesis were measured via a quantitative RT-PCR. MyoPS increased rapidly in the vehicle group post-exercise and remained elevated for 6 h, whereas this response was transiently blunted (30 min post-exercise) by rapamycin. By contrast, MitoPS was unaffected by rapamycin, and was increased over the entire post-exercise recovery period in both groups (P < 0.05). Despite rapid increases in both MyoPS and MitoPS, mTORC1 activation was suppressed in both groups post-exercise for the entire 6 h recovery period. Peroxisome proliferator activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α, pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4 and mitochondrial transcription factor A mRNA increased post-exercise (P < 0.05) and this response was augmented by rapamycin (P < 0.05). Collectively, these data suggest that endurance exercise stimulates MyoPS and MitoPS in skeletal muscle independently of mTORC1 activation.

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