Adam C. Voss, Toby L. Chambers, Kevin J. Gries, Bozena Jemiolo, Ulrika Raue, Kiril Minchev, Gwenaelle Begue, Gary A. Lee, Todd A. Trappe, Scott W. Trappe

Exercise microdosing for skeletal muscle health applications to spaceflight

  • Physiology (medical)
  • Physiology

Findings from a recent 70 day bedrest investigation suggested intermittent exercise testing in the control group may have served as a partial countermeasure for skeletal muscle size, function, and fiber-type shifts. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the metabolic and skeletal muscle molecular responses to the testing protocols. Eight males (29±2y) completed muscle power (6x4 sec; peak muscle power: 1369±86W) and VO2max (13±1min; 3.2±0.2L/min) tests on specially designed supine cycle ergometers during two separate trials. Blood catecholamines and lactate were measured pre, immediately post, and 4h postexercise. Muscle homogenate and muscle fiber-type specific (myosin heavy chain (MHC) I and MHC IIa) mRNA levels of exercise markers ( myostatin, IκBα, myogenin, MuRF-1, ABRA, RRAD, Fn14, PDK4) and MHC I, IIa, and IIx were measured from vastus lateralis muscle biopsies obtained pre and 4h postexercise. The muscle power test altered (p≤0.05) norepinephrine (+124%), epinephrine (+145%), lactate (+300%), and muscle homogenate mRNA ( IκBα, myogenin, MuRF-1, RRAD, Fn14). The VO2max test altered (p≤0.05) norepinephrine (+1394%), epinephrine (+1412%), lactate (+736%), and muscle homogenate mRNA ( myostatin, IκBα, myogenin, MuRF-1, ABRA, RRAD, Fn14, PDK4). In general, both tests influenced MHC IIa muscle fibers more than MHC I with respect to the number of genes that responded and the magnitude of response. Both tests also influenced MHC mRNA expression in a muscle fiber-type specific manner. These findings provide unique insights into the adaptive response of skeletal muscle to small doses of exercise and could help shape exercise countermeasures for astronauts and Earth-based populations (e.g., aging individuals).

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