Increase in carbon dioxide accelerates the performance of endurance exercise in rats
Endurance exercise generates CO2 via aerobic metabolism; however, its role remains unclear. Exogenous CO2 by transcutaneous delivery promotes muscle fibre-type switching to increase endurance power in skeletal muscles. Here we determined the performance of rats running in activity wheels with/without transcutaneous CO2 exposure to clarify its effect on endurance exercise and recovery from muscle fatigue. Rats were randomised to control, training and CO2 groups. Endurance exercise included activity-wheel running with/without transcutaneous CO2 delivery. Running performance was measured after exercise initiation. We also analysed changes in muscle weight and muscle fibres in the tibialis anterior muscle. Running performance improved over the treatment period in the CO2 group, with a concomitant switch in muscle fibres to slow-type. The mitochondrial DNA content and capillary density in the CO2 group increased. CO2 was beneficial for performance and muscle development during endurance exercise: it may enhance recovery from fatigue and support anabolic metabolism in skeletal muscles.
KeywordsActivity wheel Carbon dioxide Endurance exercise Running performance
The authors wish to express their sincere gratitude to Professor Masanobu Wada (Graduate School of Integrated Arts and Sciences, Hiroshima University) for his excellent technical assistance in ATPase staining and myosin heavy chain isolation, and Professor Sadahiko Nakajima and Dr. Takahisa Masaki (Graduate School of Department of Literature, Psychology, Kanseigakuin University) for their excellent technical assistance in the activity-wheel running programme.
YS and MM conducted all experiments. TU, KO and TH contributed to the animal experiments. TU, KO, AK and HN contributed to the biological and histological analyses. YS and SYL analysed the data. TN, RK and MK supervised all aspects of this study. TU, KO and YS wrote the manuscript.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The CO2 hydro-gel used in this study was provided by NeoChemir Inc.; it is patented by NeoChemir Inc. (international publication number WO2004/002393; publication date, 8 January, 2004). In addition, the use of CO2 delivery for muscle strengthening is patented by National University Corporation Kobe University and NeoChemir Inc. (international publication number WO2009/054501; date, 30 April 2009).
This study was supported by grants from the Division of Rehabilitation Medicine and Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, and a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (25350814 to YS).
All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted.
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