Protective effects of extra virgin olive oil and exercise training on rat skeletal muscle against high-fat diet feeding

Dongwook Yeo, Tianou Zhang, Tao Liu, Yuzi Zhang, Choung-Hun Kang, Li Li Ji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


A diet high in saturated fat leads to skeletal muscle deteriorations including insulin resistance, mitochondrial dysfunction and muscle fiber atrophy. Consumption of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and exercise have shown promise in ameliorating high-fat diet (HFD)-induced oxidative stress and inflammation. However, the impact of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) on mitochondrial homeostasis in muscle is largely unknown. This study aimed to investigate whether 12 wks of EVOO feeding alone and in conjunction with endurance training could protect against metabolic and mitochondrial dysfunction rat muscle with HFD. Female Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into 4 groups fed a control diet (C), HFD, EVOO diet, and EVOO diet with training (EVOO+T). Mitochondrial enzyme activity and protein content decreased with HFD compared to C, but were restored with EVOO and EVOO+T. EVOO+T elevated muscle cytochrome c and PGC-1α levels. HFD increased muscle proteolytic markers and protein ubiquitination, whereas these effects were not seen in EVOO and EVOO+T. HFD suppressed mitochondrial fusion protein level while increasing fission protein levels, but were restored with EVOO and EVOO+T. Mitophagy marker PINK1 content decreased with HFD, but was unchanged in EVOO and EVOO+T. EVOO+T upregulated autophagy markers, along with decreased phosphorylated/dephosphorylated FoxO3 ratio. Antioxidants enzyme levels were upregulated by EVOO and EVOO+T, and EVOO+T reduced HFD-induced lipid peroxidation. In conclusion, HFD impaired muscle oxidative capacity, promoted protein ubiquitination and mitochondrial fission, and upregulated autophagy markers. Replacement of HFD with EVOO corrected the observed adverse effects, while exercise training in conjunction with EVOO provided additional protection to the muscle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108902
JournalJournal of Nutritional Biochemistry
StatePublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021


  • Exercise Extra virgin olive oil
  • High-fat diet
  • Mitochondria
  • Skeletal muscle

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


Dive into the research topics of 'Protective effects of extra virgin olive oil and exercise training on rat skeletal muscle against high-fat diet feeding'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this