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Physiol Rep. 2015 Nov;3(11). pii: e12619. doi: 10.14814/phy2.12619. Epub 2015 Nov 24.

Comparative adaptations in oxidative and glycolytic muscle fibers in a low voluntary wheel running rat model performing three levels of physical activity.

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School of Kinesiology, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama.
Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri.
School of Kinesiology, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama


A unique polygenic model of rat physical activity has been recently developed where rats were selected for the trait of low voluntary wheel running. We utilized this model to identify differences in soleus and plantaris muscles of sedentary low voluntary wheel running rats and physically active low voluntary wheel running rats exposed to moderate amounts of treadmill training. Three groups of 28-day-old male Wistar rats were used: (1) rats without a running wheel (SEDENTARY, n = 7), (2) rats housed with a running wheel (WHEEL, n = 7), and (3) rats housed with a running wheel and exercised on the treadmill (5 days/week for 20 min/day at 15.0 m/min) (WHEEL + TREADMILL, n = 7). Animals were euthanized 5 weeks after the start of the experiment and the soleus and plantaris muscles were excised and used for analyses. Increases in skeletal muscle gene expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1 alpha and fibronectin type III domain-containing protein 5 in WHEEL + TREADMILL group were observed. Also, WHEEL + TREADMILL had higher protein levels of superoxide dismutase 2 and decreased levels of oxidative damage. Our data demonstrate that the addition of treadmill training induces beneficial muscular adaptations compared to animals with wheel access alone. Furthermore, our data expand our understanding of differential muscular adaptations in response to exercise in mitochondrial, antioxidant, and metabolic markers.


Antioxidants; exercise; sedentary

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