Antioxidant supplementation reduces skeletal muscle mitochondrial biogenesis

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Antioxidant supplementation reduces skeletal muscle mitochondrial biogenesis

Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
  • Exercise
  • Antioxidants
  • Oxidative Stress
  • 110602 Exercise Physiology
  • Mitochondrial Biogenesis


Purpose: 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 alpha-lipoic acid on changes in markers of mitochondrial biogenesis in the skeletal muscle of exercise-trained and sedentary rats. Methods: Male Wistar rats were divided into four groups: 1) sedentary control diet, 2) sedentary antioxidant diet, 3) exercise control diet, and 4) exercise antioxidant diet. Animals ran on a treadmill 4 d.wk(-1) at similar to 70% V (over dot)O(2max) for up to 90 min.d(-1) for 14 wk. Results: Consistent with the augmentation of skeletal muscle mitochondrial biogenesis and antioxidant defenses, after training there were significant increases in peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor F coactivator 1 alpha (PGC-1 alpha) messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein, cytochrome C oxidase subunit IV (COX IV) and cytochrome C protein abundance, citrate synthase activity, Nfe2l2, and SOD2 protein (P < 0.05). Antioxidant supplementation reduced PGC-1 alpha mRNA, PGC-1 alpha and COX IV protein, and citrate synthase enzyme activity (P < 0.05) in both sedentary and exercise-trained rats. Conclusions: Vitamin E and alpha-lipoic acid supplementation suppresses skeletal muscle mitochondrial biogenesis, regardless of training status.

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