Advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD) is associated with impaired exercise capacity, skeletal muscle dysfunction, and oxidative stress. Mitochondria are the primary source for energy production and generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Mitochondrial state 3 respiration, mitochondrial complex I enzyme activity, and tissue porin/actin ratio were determined in the gastrocnemius muscle of male SD rats 14 weeks after 5/6 nephrectomy (CKD) or sham-operation (control). The CKD group exhibited azotemia, hypertension, significant reduction (-39%) of state 3 mitochondrial respiration, and a significant increase in the mitochondrial complex I enzyme activity. The latter is the first step in oxidative phosphorylation, a process linked to production of ROS. These abnormalities were associated with a significant reduction in muscle porin/β actin ratio denoting substantial reduction of mitochondrial mass in skeletal muscle of animals with CKD. CKD results in impaired mitochondrial respiration, reduced muscle mitochondrial mass, depressed energy production and increased ROS generation in the skeletal muscle. These events can simultaneously contribute to the reduction of exercise capacity and oxidative stress in CKD.
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