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Superoxide dismutase gene expression is activated by a single bout of exercise in rat skeletal muscle

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The goal of this experiment was to examine contraction-mediated activation of superoxide dismutase (SOD) gene expression in rat superficial vastus lateralis (SVL, type IIb) and deep vastus lateralis (DVL, type IIa) muscles. Female Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into exercise (E) and control (C) groups that were sacrificed at 0, 1, 2, 4, 10, 24, and 48 h (n=6) following an acute bout of treadmill exercise (25 m/min, 5% grade) to exhaustion (running time ≅1 h). Nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) in DVL and SVL showed maximal binding at 2 and 10 h respectively, and remained elevated. Activator protein-1 (AP-1) showed maximal binding at 1 h post-exercise, and returned to resting levels at 10 h in both muscles. Mn SOD mRNA abundance in the DVL was increased at 0 (P<0.01), 1, and 2 h (P<0.05) post-exercise, whereas Mn SOD protein was unchanged. In SVL, Mn SOD mRNA abundance was not altered by exercise, whereas Mn SOD protein content was increased at 10 (P<0.05) and 24 h (P<0.075) post-exercise. CuZn SOD mRNA was unchanged with exercise in DVL and SVL, but CuZn SOD protein was elevated 48 h after exercise in both DVL and SVL (P<0.01). Activities of Mn SOD, CuZn SOD and total SOD showed no change with exercise in either muscle examined. These findings indicate that an acute bout of exercise can increase binding of NF-κB and AP-1 in both SVL and DVL, which may stimulate Mn SOD mRNA transcription in the more oxidative type DVL muscle. The increased CuZn SOD protein contents seen post-exercise, without increases in mRNA abundance in both DVL and SVL, suggest a translational mechanism in this SOD isoform.

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Received after revision: 16 January 2001

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Hollander, J., Fiebig, R., Gore, M. et al. Superoxide dismutase gene expression is activated by a single bout of exercise in rat skeletal muscle. Pflügers Arch - Eur J Physiol 442, 426–434 (2001).

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