Sport Sciences for Health

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 59–63 | Cite as

Long-term effects of sprint interval training on expression of cardiac genes involved in energy efficiency

  • Hossein TaheriChadorneshin
  • Fatemeh Rostamkhani
  • Hossein ShirvaniEmail author
Original Article



The real mechanisms of intensive exercise training-induced energy efficiency have not yet been well examined. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of sprint interval training (SIT) on gene expression of uncoupling proteins (UCPs) and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS).


For this purpose, 16 Albino Wistar rats (250–300 g) were randomly divided into equal groups of control and sprint training. The animals run on treadmill for 10 weeks, 5 days per week at intensity corresponding to 90–95% maximal oxygen consumption. The gene expression of UCP2, UCP3 and eNOS was analyzed by RT-PCR method in hearts. The data were analyzed by independent samples T test at P < 0.05 level.


Sprint interval training significantly decreased mRNA expression of UCP2 (t14 = 4.818, P = 0.001) and UCP3 (t14 = 4.620, P = 0.001) in cardiac muscle of rats. In contrast, mRNA expression of eNOS in cardiac muscle significantly increased following sprint interval training (t14 = 7.967, P = 0.001).


This study elucidates that SIT through reduction in gene expression of uncoupling proteins can improve energy efficiency. But, more studies are needed to confirm this hypothesis.


Sprint interval training (SIT) Uncoupling proteins Endothelial nitric oxide synthase Energy efficiency 





Endothelial nitric oxide synthase


Sprint interval training


Uncoupling proteins


Maximal oxygen uptake



We thank the staff of the animal laboratory at Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences for their valuable assistance with us in carrying out the exercise protocols and animal surgery.


This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All methods performed in the study were in accordance with ethical standards of the national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration.

Informed consent

There is no informed consent for this study since the study was not conducted on humans.


  1. 1.
    Fernström M, Tonkonogi M, Sahlin K (2004) Effects of acute and chronic endurance exercise on mitochondrial uncoupling in human skeletal muscle. J Physiol 554(3):755–763CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Rolfe DF, Brand MD (1996) Contribution of mitochondrial proton leak to skeletal muscle respiration and to standard metabolic rate. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 271(4):C1380–C1389CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Fallahi AA, Shekarfroush S, Rahimi M, Jalali A, Khoshbaten A (2016) Alteration in cardiac uncoupling proteins and eNOS gene expression following high-intensity interval training in favor of increasing mechanical efficiency. Iran J Basic Med Sci 19(3):258Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Echtay KS, Roussel D, St-Pierre J, Jekabsons MB, Cadenas S, Stuart JA, Harper JA, Roebuck SJ, Morrison A, Pickering S, Clapham JC (2002) Superoxide activates mitochondrial uncoupling proteins. Nature 415(6867):96–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Sun X, Wray C, Tian X, Hasselgren PO, Lu J (2003) Expression of uncoupling protein 3 is upregulated in skeletal muscle during sepsis. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 285(3):E512–E520CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bo H, Jiang N, Ma G, Qu J, Zhang G, Cao D, Wen L, Liu S, Ji LL, Zhang Y (2008) Regulation of mitochondrial uncoupling respiration during exercise in rat heart: role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and uncoupling protein 2. Free Radic Biol Med 44(7):1373–1381CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Dhamrait SS, Williams AG, Day SH, Skipworth J, Payne JR, Humphries SE, Montgomery HE (2012) Variation in the uncoupling protein 2 and 3 genes and human performance. J Appl Physiol 112(7):1122–7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Tonkonogi M, Krook A, Walsh B, Sahlin K (2000) Endurance training increases stimulation of uncoupling of skeletal muscle mitochondria in humans by non-esterified fatty acids: an uncoupling-protein-mediated effect? Biochem J 351(3):805–810CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Schrauwen P, Hesselink M (2003) Uncoupling protein 3 and physical activity: the role of uncoupling protein 3 in energy metabolism revisited. Proc Nutr Soc 62(3):635–643CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Schrauwen P, Troost FJ, Xia J, Ravussin E, Saris WH (1999) Skeletal muscle UCP2 and UCP3 expression in trained and untrained male subjects. Int J Obes 23(9):966–972CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Luo S, Lei H, Qin H, Xia Y (2014) Molecular mechanisms of endothelial NO synthase uncoupling. Curr Pharm Des 20(22):3548–3553CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Balligand JL, Feron O, Dessy C (2009) eNOS activation by physical forces: from short-term regulation of contraction to chronic remodeling of cardiovascular tissues. Physiol Rev 89(2)(1):481–534CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Lee-Young RS, Ayala JE, Hunley CF, James FD, Bracy DP, Kang L, Wasserman DH (2010) Endothelial nitric oxide synthase is central to skeletal muscle metabolic regulation and enzymatic signaling during exercise in vivo. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 298(5):R1399–R1408CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Farah C, Kleindienst A, Bolea G, Meyer G, Gayrard S, Geny B, Obert P, Cazorla O, Tanguy S, Reboul C (2013) Exercise-induced cardioprotection: a role for eNOS uncoupling and NO metabolites. Basic Res Cardiol 108(6):389CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Boss O, Samec S, Desplanches D, Mayet MH, Seydoux J, Muzzin P, Giacobino JP (1998) Effect of endurance training on mRNA expression of uncoupling proteins 1, 2, and 3 in the rat. FASEB J 12(3):335–339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Russell AP1, Somm E, Praz M, Crettenand A, Hartley O, Melotti A, Giacobino JP, Muzzin P, Gobelet C, Dériaz O (2003) UCP3 protein regulation in human skeletal muscle fibre types I, IIa and IIx is dependent on exercise intensity. J Physiol 550(Pt 3):855–861 (Epub 2003 Jun 6) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Hjeltnes N, Fernström M, Zierath JR, Krook A (1999) Regulation of UCP2 and UCP3 by muscle disuse and physical activity in tetraplegic subjects. Diabetologia 42(7):826–830CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Liu WY, He W, Li H (2013) Exhaustive training increases uncoupling protein 2 expression and decreases Bcl-2/Bax ratio in rat skeletal muscle. Oxid Med Cell Longev 780719:1–7Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Jones TE, Baar K, Ojuka E, Chen M, Holloszy JO (2003) Exercise induces an increase in muscle UCP3 as a component of the increase in mitochondrial biogenesis. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 284(1):E96–E101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Ascensão A, Magalhães J, Soares JM, Ferreira R, Neuparth MJ, Marques F, Oliveira PJ, Duarte JA (2006) Endurance training limits the functional alterations of heart rat mitochondria submitted to in vitro anoxia-reoxygenation. Int J Cardiol 109(2):169–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Fenning A, Harrison G, Dwyer D, Rose’Meyer R, Brown L (2003) Cardiac adaptation to endurance exercise in rats. Mol Cell Biochem 251(1):51–59Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    TaheriChadorneshin H, Cheragh-Birjandi S, Ramezani S, Abtahi-Eivary SH (2017) Comparing sprint and endurance training on anxiety, depression and its relation with brain-derived neurotrophic factor in rats. Behav Brain Res 329:1–5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Young CG, Knight CA, Vickers KC, Westbrook D, Madamanchi NR, Runge MS, Ischiropoulos H, Ballinger SW (2005) Differential effects of exercise on aortic mitochondria. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 288(4):H1683–H1689CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Judge S, Jang YM, Smith A, Selman C, Phillips T, Speakman JR, Hagen T, Leeuwenburgh C (2005) Exercise by lifelong voluntary wheel running reduces subsarcolemmal and interfibrillar mitochondrial hydrogen peroxide production in the heart. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 289(6):R1564–R1572CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Kim DH, Kim SH, Kim WH, Moon CR (2013 Dec) The effects of treadmill exercise on expression of UCP-2 of brown adipose tissue and TNF-α of soleus muscle in obese Zucker rats. J Exer Nutr Biochem 17(4):199CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Oh KS, Kim EY, Yoon M, Lee CM (2007) Swim training improves leptin receptor deficiency-induced obesity and lipid disorder by activating uncoupling proteins. Exp Mol Med 39(3):385CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Yang L, Jia Z, Zhu M, Zhang J, Liu J, Wu P et al (2014) Exercise protects against chronic beta-adrenergic remodeling of the heart by activation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase. PLoS One 9:e96892CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Calvert JW, Condit ME, Aragon JP, Nicholson CK, Moody BF, Hood RL, Sindler A, Gundewar S, Seals DR, Barouch LA, Lefer DJ (2011) Exercise protects against myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury via stimulation of beta(3)-adrenergic receptors and increased nitric oxide signaling: role of nitrite and nitrosothiols. Circ Res 108:1448–1458CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Holloway TM, Bloemberg D, da Silva ML, Simpson JA, Quadrilatero J, Spriet LL (2015) High intensity interval and endurance training have opposing effects on markers of heart failure and cardiac remodeling in hypertensive rats. PLoS One 10:e0121138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Ma ZY, Zhao YC (2014) Effects of aerobic exercise training on antihypertension and expressions of VEGF, eNOS of skeletal muscle in spontaneous hypertensive rats. Zhongguo ying yong sheng li xue za zhi = Zhongguo yingyong shenglixue zazhi = Chin J Appl Physiol 30(4):320–324Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Derdak Z, Garcia TA, Baffy G (2009) Detection of uncoupling protein-2 (UCP2) as a mitochondrial modulator of apoptosis, 2nd edn. In: Erhardt P, Toth A (eds) Apoptosis: methods and protocols, vol 559. Humana Press. Totowa, NJ, pp 205–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    French JP, Hamilton KL, Quindry JC, Lee Y, Upchurch PA, Powers SK (2008) Exercise-induced protection against myocardial apoptosis and necrosis: MnSOD, calcium-handling proteins, and calpain. FASEB J 22(8):2862–2871CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Lennon SL, Quindry JC, Hamilton KL, French JP, Hughes J, Mehta JL, Powers SK (2004) Elevated MnSOD is not required for exercise-induced cardioprotection against myocardial stunning. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 287(2):H975–H980CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Lawler JM, Kwak HB, Kim JH, Suk MH (2009) Exercise training inducibility of MnSOD protein expression and activity is retained while reducing prooxidant signaling in the heart of senescent rats. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 296(5):R1496–R1502CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Corte de Araujo AC, Roschel H, Picanco AR, do Prado DM, Villares SM, de Sa Pinto AL et al (2012) Similar health benefits of endurance and high-intensity interval training in obese children. PloS One 7(8):42747CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sport SciencesUniversity of BojnordBojnordIran
  2. 2.Department of Biology, College of Basic Sciences, Yadegar-e-Imam Khomeini (RAH) Shahre Rey BranchIslamic Azad UniversityTehranIran
  3. 3.Exercise Physiology Research Center, Life Style InstituteBaqiyatallah University of Medical SciencesTehranIran

Personalised recommendations