Acute molecular responses in untrained and trained muscle subjected to aerobic and resistance exercise training versus resistance training alone

  • Fernandez-Gonzalo R
  • Lundberg T
  • Tesch P
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AIM: This study assessed and compared acute muscle molecular responses before and after 5-week training, employing either aerobic (AE) and resistance exercise (RE) or RE only.

METHODS: Ten men performed one-legged RE, while the contralateral limb performed AE followed by RE 6 h later (AE+RE). Before (untrained) and after (trained) the intervention, acute bouts of RE were performed with or without preceding AE. Biopsies were obtained from m. vastus lateralis of each leg pre- and 3 h post-RE to determine mRNA levels of VEGF, PGC-1α, MuRF-1, atrogin-1, myostatin and phosphorylation of mTOR, p70S6K, rpS6 and eEF2.

RESULTS: PGC-1α and VEGF expression increased (P < 0.05) after acute RE in the untrained, but not the trained state. These markers showed greater response after AE+RE than RE in either condition. Myostatin was lower after AE+RE than RE, both before and after training. AE+RE showed higher MuRF-1 and atrogin-1 expression than RE in the untrained, not the trained state. Exercise increased (P < 0.05) p70S6K phosphorylation both before and after training, yet this increase tended to be more prominent for AE+RE than RE before training. Phosphorylation of p70S6K was greater in trained muscle. Changes in these markers did not correlate with exercise-induced alterations in strength or muscle size.

CONCLUSION: Concurrent exercise in untrained skeletal muscle prompts global molecular responses consistent with resulting whole muscle adaptations. Yet, training blunts the more robust anabolic response shown after AE+RE compared with RE. This study challenges the concept that single molecular markers could predict training-induced changes in muscle size or strength.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Concurrent exercise
  • Gene expression
  • Human skeletal muscle
  • Mammalian target of rapamycin
  • P70S6 kinase

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  • R. Fernandez-Gonzalo

  • T. R. Lundberg

  • P. A. Tesch

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