Antioxidant vitamin C (VC) supplementation is of potential clinical benefit to individuals with skeletal muscle oxidative stress. However there is a paucity of data reporting on the bioavailability of high dose oral VC in human skeletal muscle. We aimed to establish the time-course accumulation of VC in skeletal muscle and plasma during high dose VC supplementation in healthy individuals. Concurrently we investigated effects of VC supplementation on expression levels of the key skeletal muscle VC transporter, sodium-dependent vitamin C transporter 2 (SVCT2) and intramuscular redox and mitochondrial measures. Eight healthy males completed a randomized placebo-controlled, cross-over trial involving supplementation with ascorbic acid (2×500mg/day) over 42 days. Participants underwent muscle and blood sampling on days 0, 1, 7 and 42 during each treatment. VC supplementation significantly increased skeletal muscle VC concentration after 7 days, which was maintained at 42 days (VC: 3.0±0.2 [mean±SEM] mg/100gwet weight [ww] to 3.9±0.4mg/100g ww versus placebo: 3.1±0.3mg/100g ww to 2.9±0.2mg/100g ww, p=0.001). Plasma VC increased after 1 day, which was maintained at 42 days (VC: 61.0±6.1?mol/l to 111.5±10.4?mol/l versus placebo: 60.7±5.3?mol/l to 59.2±4.8?mol/l, p<0.001). VC supplementation significantly increased skeletal muscle SVCT2 protein expression (main treatment effect p=0.006) but did not alter skeletal muscle redox measures or citrate synthase activity. A main finding of our study was that 7 days of high dose VC supplementation was required to significantly increase skeletal muscle vitamin C concentration in healthy males. Our findings implicate regular high dose vitamin C supplementation as a means to safely increase skeletal muscle vitamin C concentration without impairing intramuscular ascorbic acid transport, antioxidant concentrations or citrate synthase activity.
Individuals born after intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) are at an increased risk of developing diabetes in their adult life. IUGR impairs ?-cell function and reduces ?-cell mass, thereby diminishing insulin secretion. IUGR also induces insulin resistance, with impaired insulin signaling in muscle in adult humans who were small for gestational age (SGA) and in rodent models of IUGR. There is epidemiological evidence in humans that exercise in adults can reduce the risk of metabolic disease following IUGR. However, it is not clear whether adult IUGR individuals benefit to the same extent from exercise as do normal-birth-weight individuals, as our rat studies suggest less of a benefit in those born IUGR. Importantly, however, there is some evidence from studies in rats that exercise in early life might be able to reverse or reprogram the long-term metabolic effects of IUGR. Studies are needed to address gaps in current knowledge, including determining the mechanisms involved in the reprogramming effects of early exercise in rats, whether exercise early in life or in adulthood has similar beneficial metabolic effects in larger animal models in which insulin resistance develops after IUGR. Human studies are also needed to determine whether exercise training improves insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity to the same extent in IUGR adults as in control populations. Such investigations will have implications for customizing the recommended level and timing of exercise to improve metabolic health after IUGR.
Metabolic stresses associated with disease, ageing, and exercise increase the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in skeletal muscle. These ROS have been linked mechanistically to adaptations in skeletal muscle that can be favourable (i.e. in response to exercise) or detrimental (i.e. in response to disease). The magnitude, duration (acute versus chronic), and cellular origin of the ROS are important underlying factors in determining the metabolic perturbations associated with the ROS produced in skeletal muscle. In particular, insulin resistance has been linked to excess ROS production in skeletal muscle mitochondria. A chronic excess of mitochondrial ROS can impair normal insulin signalling pathways and glucose disposal in skeletal muscle. In contrast, ROS produced in skeletal muscle in response to exercise has been linked to beneficial metabolic adaptations including mitochondrial biogenesis and muscle hypertrophy. Moreover, unlike insulin resistance, exercise-induced ROS appears to be primarily of non-mitochondrial origin. The present review summarizes the diverse ROS-targeted metabolic outcomes associated with insulin resistance versus exercise in skeletal muscle, thus, presenting two contrasting perspectives of pathologically harmful versus physiologically beneficial ROS. Here, we discuss the key sites of ROS production during exercise and the effect of ROS in skeletal muscle of people with type 2 diabetes.
Maintaining skeletal muscle mitochondrial content and function is important for sustained health throughout the lifespan. Exercise stimulates important key stress signals that control skeletal mitochondrial biogenesis and function. Perturbations in mitochondrial content and function can directly or indirectly impact skeletal muscle function and consequently whole-body health and wellbeing.
? The identification of microRNAs (miRNAs) has established new mechanisms that control skeletal muscle adaptation to exercise. The present study investigated the mRNA regulation of components of the miRNA biogenesis pathway (Drosha, Dicer and Exportin-5), muscle enriched miRNAs, (miR-1, -133a, -133b and -206), and several miRNAs dysregulated in muscle myopathies (miR-9, -23, -29, -31 and -181). Measurements were made in muscle biopsies from nine healthy untrained males at rest, 3 h following an acute bout of moderate-intensity endurance cycling and following 10 days of endurance training. Bioinformatics analysis was used to predict potential miRNA targets. In the 3 h period following the acute exercise bout, Drosha, Dicer and Exportin-5, as well as miR-1, -133a, -133-b and -181a were all increased. In contrast miR-9, -23a, -23b and -31 were decreased. Short-term training increased miR-1 and -29b, while miR-31 remained decreased. Negative correlations were observed between miR-9 and HDAC4 protein (r=-0.71; P=0.04), miR-31 and HDAC4 protein (r=-0.87; P=0.026) and miR-31 and NRF1 protein (r=-0.77; P=0.01) 3 h following exercise. miR-31 binding to the HDAC4 and NRF1 3 untranslated region (UTR) reduced luciferase reporter activity. Exercise rapidly and transiently regulates several miRNA species in muscle. Several of these miRNAs may be involved in the regulation of skeletal muscle regeneration, gene transcription and mitochondrial biogenesis. Identifying endurance exercise-mediated stress signals regulating skeletal muscle miRNAs, as well as validating their targets and regulatory pathways post exercise, will advance our understanding of their potential role/s in human health.
Exercise increases the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in skeletal muscle, and athletes often consume antioxidant supplements in the belief they will attenuate ROS-related muscle damage and fatigue during exercise. However, exercise-induced ROS may regulate beneficial skeletal muscle adaptations, such as increased mitochondrial biogenesis. We therefore investigated the effects of long-term antioxidant supplementation with vitamin E and ?-lipoic acid on changes in markers of mitochondrial biogenesis in the skeletal muscle of exercise-trained and sedentary rats.
Fetal growth restriction is associated with reduced pancreatic ?-cell mass, contributing to impaired glucose tolerance and diabetes. Exercise training increases ?-cell mass in animals with diabetes and has long-lasting metabolic benefits in rodents and humans. We studied the effect of exercise training on islet and ?-cell morphology and plasma insulin and glucose, following an intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test (IPGTT) in juvenile and adult male Wistar-Kyoto rats born small. Bilateral uterine vessel ligation performed on day 18 of pregnancy resulted in Restricted offspring born small compared with sham-operated Controls and also sham-operated Reduced litter offspring that had their litter size reduced to five pups at birth. Restricted, Control, and Reduced litter offspring remained sedentary or underwent treadmill running from 5 to 9 or 20 to 24 wk of age. Early life exercise increased relative islet surface area and ?-cell mass across all groups at 9 wk, partially restoring the 60-68% deficit (P < 0.05) in Restricted offspring. Remarkably, despite no further exercise training after 9 wk, ?-cell mass was restored in Restricted at 24 wk, while sedentary littermates retained a 45% deficit (P = 0.05) in relative ?-cell mass. Later exercise training also restored Restricted ?-cell mass to Control levels. In conclusion, early life exercise training in rats born small restored ?-cell mass in adulthood and may have beneficial consequences for later metabolic health and disease.
We have previously shown that local infusion of a nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitor attenuates increases in leg glucose uptake during exercise in humans. We have also shown that infusion of the NOS substrate, l-arginine (l-Arg), increases glucose clearance, although the mechanisms involved were not determined. A potential mechanism for NO-mediated glucose disposal is via interactions with NOS and the energy sensor AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). The aim of this study was to determine the mechanism(s) by which l-Arg infusion increases glucose disposal during exercise in humans by examining total NOS activity and AMPK signaling.
In sheep, central leptin infusion reduces food intake and increases energy expenditure in adipose tissue and skeletal muscle. The mechanisms for these peripheral effects of central leptin in sheep are not known but, on the basis of rodent studies, may involve AMPK. In mice, central leptin acutely increases both skeletal muscle AMPK activation and glucose uptake. Thus, to investigate whether these effects exist in higher-order mammals, ovariectomized Corriedale ewes (n = 4 per group) received a continuous lateral ventricular infusion (60 ?l/h) of either leptin (50 ?g/h) or artificial cerebrospinal fluid (aCSF; CON) for 8 days. Tritiated glucose (3-(3)H-glucose) was infused intravenously for calculation of whole body glucose turnover during both acute (6 h) and chronic (7-8 days) leptin/aCSF infusion. Muscle biopsies were also obtained. Leptin infusion reduced (P < 0.05) food intake and body weight, and it also increased plasma epinephrine concentration at 6 h and 7 days, suggesting increased sympathetic nerve activity. Despite this, and in contrast to rodent studies, central leptin infusion did not increase skeletal muscle AMPK? Thr(172) phosphorylation or ACC? Ser(221) phosphorylation. Surprisingly, the glucose rate of appearance (glucose Ra) and rate of disappearance (glucose Rd) were reduced by both acute and chronic leptin infusion. Direct infusion of the AMPK activator 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxyamide-ribonucleoside (AICAR) into the femoral artery increased skeletal muscle AMPK phosphorylation. In conclusion, although central leptin infusion in sheep caused the predicted reduction in food intake and increases plasma epinephrine concentration, it had no effect on AMPK activation in skeletal muscle and actually reduced glucose disposal. This suggests that there are species differences in the peripheral responses to central leptin infusion.
There is evidence that reactive oxygen species (ROS) signalling is required for normal increases in glucose uptake during contraction of isolated mouse skeletal muscle, and that AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is involved. The aim of this study was to determine whether ROS signalling is involved in the regulation of glucose disposal and AMPK activation during moderate-intensity exercise in humans. Nine healthy males completed 80 min of cycle ergometry at 62 +/- 1% of peak oxygen consumption ( V(O(2)peak).A 6,6-(2)H-glucose tracer was infused at rest and during exercise, and in a double-blind randomised cross-over design, N-acetylcysteine (NAC) or saline (CON) was co-infused. NAC was infused at 125 mg kg(1) h(1) for 15 min and then at 25 mg kg(1) h(1) for 20 min before and throughout exercise. NAC infusion elevated plasma NAC and cysteine, and muscle NAC and cysteine concentrations during exercise. Although neither NAC infusion nor exercise significantly affected muscle reduced or oxidised glutathione (GSH or GSSG) concentration (P > 0.05), S-glutathionylation (an indicator of oxidative stress) of a protein band of approximately 270 kDa was increased approximately 3-fold with contraction and this increase was prevented by NAC infusion. Despite this, exercised-induced increases in tracer determined glucose disposal, plasma lactate, plasma non-esterified fatty acids (NEFAs), and decreases in plasma insulin were not affected by NAC infusion. In addition, skeletal muscle AMPKalpha and acetyl-CoA carboxylase-beta (ACCbeta) phosphorylation increased during exercise by approximately 3- and approximately 6-fold (P < 0.05), respectively, and this was not affected by NAC infusion. Unlike findings in mouse muscle ex vivo, NAC does not attenuate skeletal muscle glucose disposal or AMPK activation during moderate-intensity exercise in humans.
Reduced activation of exercise responsive signalling pathways have been reported in response to acute exercise after training; however little is known about the adaptive responses of the mitochondria. Accordingly, we investigated changes in mitochondrial gene expression and protein abundance in response to the same acute exercise before and after 10-d of intensive cycle training. Nine untrained, healthy participants (mean±SD; VO(2peak) 44.1±17.6 ml/kg/min) performed a 60 min bout of cycling exercise at 164±18 W (72% of pre-training VO(2peak)). Muscle biopsies were obtained from the vastus lateralis muscle at rest, immediately and 3 h after exercise. The participants then underwent 10-d of cycle training which included four high-intensity interval training sessions (6×5 min; 90-100% VO(2peak)) and six prolonged moderate-intensity sessions (45-90 min; 75% VO(2peak)). Participants repeated the pre-training exercise trial at the same absolute work load (64% of pre-training VO(2peak)). Muscle PGC1-? mRNA expression was attenuated as it increased by 11- and 4- fold (P<0.001) after exercise pre- and post-training, respectively. PGC1-? protein expression increased 1.5 fold (P<0.05) in response to exercise pre-training with no further increases after the post-training exercise bout. RIP140 protein abundance was responsive to acute exercise only (P<0.01). COXIV mRNA (1.6 fold; P<0.01) and COXIV protein expression (1.5 fold; P<0.05) were increased by training but COXIV protein expression was decreased (20%; P<0.01) by acute exercise pre- and post-training. These findings demonstrate that short-term intensified training promotes increased mitochondrial gene expression and protein abundance. Furthermore, acute indicators of exercise-induced mitochondrial adaptation appear to be blunted in response to exercise at the same absolute intensity following short-term training.
This study investigated the impact of uteroplacental insufficiency and growth restriction on the expression of genes related to mitochondrial biogenesis, glucose transport, and antioxidant defenses in cardiac tissue at embryonic day 20 (E20) and postnatal days 1, 7, and 35 in male and female Wistar rats (8-10 per group). Bilateral uterine vessel ligation to induce growth restriction (Restricted) or sham surgery was performed at pregnancy day 18. In male and female Controls, expression of most cardiac genes decreased during postnatal life, including genes involved in mitochondrial biogenesis regulation such as PGC-1?, NRF-2, and mtTFA and the glucose transporter GLUT-1 (P < 0.05). However, the pattern of gene expression during cardiac development differed in male and female Restricted rats compared with their respective Controls. These effects of restriction were observed at postnatal day 1, with female Restricted rats having delayed reductions in PGC-1? and GLUT-1, whereas males had exacerbated reductions in PGC-1? and mtTFA (P < 0.05). By day 35, cardiac gene expression in Restricted hearts was similar to Controls, except for expression of the antioxidant enzyme MnSOD, which was significantly lower in both sexes. In summary, during postnatal life male and female Control rats have similar patterns of expression for genes involved in mitochondrial biogenesis and glucose transport. However, following uteroplacental insufficiency these gene expression patterns diverge in males and females during early postnatal life, with MnSOD gene expression reduced in later postnatal life.
There is a strong inverse relationship between a females own birth weight and her subsequent risk for gestational diabetes with increased risk of developing diabetes later in life. We have shown that growth restricted females develop loss of glucose tolerance during late pregnancy with normal pancreatic function. The aim of this study was to determine whether growth restricted females develop long-term impairment of metabolic control after an adverse pregnancy adaptation. Uteroplacental insufficiency was induced by bilateral uterine vessel ligation (Restricted) or sham surgery (Control) in late pregnancy (E18) in F0 female rats. F1 Control and Restricted female offspring were mated with normal males and allowed to deliver (termed Ex-Pregnant). Age-matched Control and Restricted Virgins were also studied and glucose tolerance and insulin secretion were determined. Pancreatic morphology and hepatic glycogen and triacylglycerol content were quantified respectively. Restricted females were born lighter than Control and remained lighter at all time points studied (p<0.05). Glucose tolerance, first phase insulin secretion and liver glycogen and triacylglycerol content were not different across groups, with no changes in ?-cell mass. Second phase insulin secretion was reduced in Restricted Virgins (-34%, p<0.05) compared to Control Virgins, suggestive of enhanced peripheral insulin sensitivity but this was lost after pregnancy. Growth restriction was associated with enhanced basal hepatic insulin sensitivity, which may provide compensatory benefits to prevent adverse metabolic outcomes often associated with being born small. A prior pregnancy was associated with reduced hepatic insulin sensitivity with effects more pronounced in Controls than Restricted. Our data suggests that pregnancy ameliorates the enhanced peripheral insulin sensitivity in growth restricted females and has deleterious effects for hepatic insulin sensitivity, regardless of maternal birth weight.
Skeletal muscle mitochondrial dysfunction is believed to play a role in the progression and severity of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The regulation of transcriptional co-activators involved in mitochondrial biogenesis and function in ALS is not well known. When compared with healthy control subjects, patients with ALS, but not neurogenic disease (ND), had lower levels of skeletal muscle peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor ? coactivator-1? (PGC-1?) mRNA and protein and estrogen-related receptor-? (ERR?) and mitofusin-2 (Mfn2) mRNA. PGC-1?, nuclear respiratory factor-1 (NRF-1) and Mfn1 mRNA as well as cytochrome C oxidase subunit IV (COXIV) mRNA and protein were lower in patients with ALS and ND. Both patient groups had reductions in citrate synthase and cytochrome c oxidase activity. Similar observations were made in skeletal muscle from transgenic ALS G93A transgenic mice. In vitro, PGC-1? and PGC-1? regulated Mfn1 and Mfn2 in an ERR?-dependent manner. Compared to healthy controls, miRNA 23a, 29b, 206 and 455 were increased in skeletal muscle of ALS patients. miR-23a repressed PGC-1? translation in a 3 UTR dependent manner. Transgenic mice over expressing miR-23a had a reduction in PGC-1?, cytochome-b and COXIV protein levels. These results show that skeletal muscle mitochondrial dysfunction in ALS patients is associated with a reduction in PGC-1? signalling networks involved in mitochondrial biogenesis and function, as well as increases in several miRNAs potentially implicated in skeletal muscle and neuromuscular junction regeneration. As miR-23a negatively regulates PGC-1? signalling, therapeutic inhibition of miR-23a may be a strategy to rescue PGC-1? activity and ameliorate skeletal muscle mitochondrial function in ALS.
Nitric oxide (NO) is an important vasodilator and regulator in the cardiovascular system, and this link was the subject of a Nobel prize in 1998. However, NO also plays many other regulatory roles, including thrombosis, immune function, neural activity, and gastrointestinal function. Low concentrations of NO are thought to have important signaling effects. In contrast, high concentrations of NO can interact with reactive oxygen species, causing damage to cells and cellular components. A less-recognized site of NO production is within skeletal muscle, where small increases are thought to have beneficial effects such as regulating glucose uptake and possibly blood flow, but higher levels of production are thought to lead to deleterious effects such as an association with insulin resistance. This review will discuss the role of NO in skeletal muscle during and following exercise, including in mitochondrial biogenesis, muscle efficiency, and blood flow with a particular focus on its potential role in regulating skeletal muscle glucose uptake during exercise.
We have previously shown that 4 wk of exercise training early in life normalizes the otherwise greatly reduced pancreatic ?-cell mass in adult male rats born small. The aim of the current study was to determine whether a similar normalization in adulthood of reduced skeletal muscle mitochondrial biogenesis markers and alterations in skeletal muscle lipids of growth-restricted male rats occurs following early exercise training. Bilateral uterine vessel ligation performed on day 18 of gestation resulted in Restricted offspring born small (P < 0.05) compared with both sham-operated Controls and a sham-operated Reduced litter group. Offspring remained sedentary or underwent treadmill running from 5-9 (early exercise) or 20-24 (later exercise) wk of age. At 24 wk of age, Restricted and Reduced litter offspring had lower (P < 0.05) skeletal muscle peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor ? coactivator-1? (PGC-1?) protein expression compared with Control offspring. Early exercise training had the expected effect of increasing skeletal muscle markers of mitochondrial biogenesis, but, at this early age (9 wk), there was no deficit in Restricted and Reduced litter skeletal muscle mitochondrial biogenesis. Unlike our previous observations in pancreatic ?-cell mass, there was no "reprogramming" effect of early exercise on adult skeletal muscle such that PGC-1? was lower in adult Restricted and Reduced litter offspring irrespective of exercise training. Later exercise training increased mitochondrial biogenesis in all groups. In conclusion, although the response to exercise training remains intact, early exercise training in rats born small does not have a reprogramming effect to prevent deficits in skeletal muscle markers of mitochondrial biogenesis in adulthood.
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