Autophagy-related and autophagy-regulatory genes are induced in human muscle after ultraendurance exercise
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The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether ultra endurance exercise changes the mRNA levels of the autophagy-related and autophagy-regulatory genes. Eight men (44 ± 1 years, range: 38–50 years) took part in a 200-km running race. The average running time was 28 h 03 min ± 2 h 01 min (range: 22 h 15 min–35 h 04 min). A muscle sample was taken from the vastus lateralis 2 weeks prior to the race and 3 h after arrival. Gene expression was assessed by RT-qPCR. Transcript levels of autophagy-related genes were increased by 49% for ATG4b (P = 0.025), 57% for ATG12 (P = 0.013), 286% for Gabarapl1 (P = 0.008) and 103% for LC3b (P = 0.011). The lysosomal enzyme cathepsin L mRNA was upregulated by 123% (P = 0.003). Similarly, transcript levels of the autophagy-regulatory genes BNIP3 and BNIP3l were both increased by 113% (P = 0.031 and P = 0.007, respectively). Since upregulation of these genes has been related with an increased autophagic flux in various models, our results strongly suggest that autophagy is activated in response to ultra endurance exercise.
KeywordsEndurance exercise Autophagy ATG BNIP3 Gabarapl1 LC3b
This work was supported by the Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique Médicale (FRSM 3.4574.03) (Belgium), by the Université Catholique de Louvain (FSR) and by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (NRF-2010-413-G00007).
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflict of interest to declare.
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