Interaction of contractile activity and training history on mRNA abundance in skeletal muscle from trained athletes

Vernon G. Coffey, Anthony J. Shield, Benedict J. Canny, Kate A. Carey, David Cameron-Smith, John A. Hawley*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

114 Citations (Scopus)


Skeletal muscle displays enormous plasticity to respond to contractile activity with muscle from strength- (ST) and endurance-trained (ET) athletes representing diverse states of the adaptation continuum. Training adaptation can be viewed as the accumulation of specific proteins. Hence, the altered gene expression that allows for changes in protein concentration is of major importance for any training adaptation. Accordingly, the aim of the present study was to quantify acute subcellular responses in muscle to habitual and unfamiliar exercise. After 24-h diet/exercise control, 13 male subjects (7 ST and 6 ET) performed a random order of either resistance (8 × 5 maximal leg extensions) or endurance exercise (1 h of cycling at 70% peak O 2 uptake). Muscle biopsies were taken from vastus lateralis at rest and 3 h after exercise. Gene expression was analyzed using real-time PCR with changes normalized relative to preexercise values. After cycling exercise, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α (ET ∼8.5-fold, ST ∼10-fold, P < 0.001), pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase-4 (PDK-4; ET ∼26-fold, ST ∼39-fold), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF; ET ∼4.5-fold, ST ∼4-fold), and muscle atrophy F-box protein (MAFbx) (ET ∼2-fold, ST ∼0.4-fold) mRNA increased in both groups, whereas MyoD (∼3-fold), myogenin (∼0.9-fold), and myostatin (∼2-fold) mRNA increased in ET but not in ST (P < 0.05). After resistance exercise PDK-4 (∼7-fold, P < 0.01) and MyoD (∼0.7-fold) increased, whereas MAFbx (∼0.7-fold) and myostatin (∼0.6-fold) decreased in ET but not in ST. We conclude that prior training history can modify the acute gene responses in skeletal muscle to subsequent exercise.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2006
Externally publishedYes


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