Endurance training alters antioxidant enzyme gene expression in rat skeletal muscle

M. Gore, R. Fiebig, J. Hollander, C. Leeuwenburgh, H. Ohno, L. L. Ji

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54 Scopus citations


The effects of endurance training on gene expression of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPX) were investigated in type 2a and 2b skeletal muscles, as well as heart and liver, in the rat. Female Sprague-Dawley rats (4 months old, 300-320 g) were randomly divided into a trained (T, n = 11) and a control (C, n = 10) group and were pair fed a diet consisting of 66% cornstarch and 34% basal diet that contained all essential nutrients. Training was conducted on a treadmill at 25 m · min-1, 10% grade for 2 h per day, 5 days per week for 10 weeks, resulting in a 79% (p < 0.01) increase in citrate synthase activity in the deep portion of vastus lateralis muscle (DVL, type 2a). Cu-Zn SOD activity was 35% higher (p < 0.01) in DVL of T versus C rats, and Cu-Zn SOD mRNA abundance showed a 125% increase with training (p < 0.05). Cu-Zn SOD protein content was not altered in DVL, but increased significantly (p < 0.05) in the superficial portion of vastus lateralis (type 2b) with training. Trained rats showed a 66% higher (p < 0.05) Mn SOD protein content in DVL, but Mn SOD activity and mRNA abundance were not affected. Training also significantly increased GPX activity by 62% (p < 0.05), without changing its mRNA abundance, in the DVL. Heart and liver showed a 112 and 58% increase (p < 0.01) in Cu-Zn SOD mRNA abundance with training, respectively, but no other training adaptation was detected. These data indicate that endurance training can promote gene expression of muscle antioxidant enzymes in a fiber-specific manner. Training appears to upregulate Cu-Zn SOD mRNA abundance in a number of aerobic tissues, whereas Mn SOD and GPX induction observed in DVL may occur at the post- transcriptional levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1139-1145
Number of pages7
JournalCanadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998


  • Glutathione peroxidase
  • MRNA
  • Skeletal muscle superoxide dismutase
  • Training


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