The effects of long-term habitual exercise on skeletal muscle and cardiac muscle

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The effects of long-term habitual exercise on skeletal muscle and cardiac muscle


Author: Tam, Tsz King Bjorn
Title: The effects of long-term habitual exercise on skeletal muscle and cardiac muscle
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2013
Subject: Exercise -- Physiological aspects.
Musculoskeletal system.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Health Technology and Informatics
Pages: xii, 100 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: Long term habitual exercise has been recommended for the prevention of disease and improvement of bodily functions. A number of studies have demonstrated the relationship between exercise and the prevention of cardiovascular disease and improvement in quality of life. Although the benefits of habitual exercise are well documented, the cellular mechanisms beneath the effects of exercise are not fully understood. Recently, the lysosomal degradation pathway, famously known as autoaphgy, has been employed to explain the benefits of performing exercise. Autophagy is an intracellular degradation system recycling long-lived protein and malfunctioned organelles. The autophagy could be activated by acute exercise, however, the effect of habitual exercise remains unanswered. In this study, animals have been assigned to perform habitual exercise for 5 months. Skeletal muscle and cardiac muscle were collected after the experimental period. Right plantaris muscles and left ventricles from animals were used for the analysis . The real-time polymerase chain reaction (Q-PCR) revealed that there was no significant elevation in the expression of autophagic genes -Atg5, Atg7, Atg12, Beclin-1, Bax and Bcl-2 in both skeletal muscle and cardiac muscle. Western blot analysis was consistent with the Q-PCR findings, except the downregulation of Bax protein, decreased by 40%, in plantaris muscles from exercise group. The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator alpha (PGC-1alpha) protein was found increased by 44% and 107% in cardiac muscle and skeletal muscle from the exercise group. Finally, the heat shock protein 72 (HSP72) was found increased by 105% in cardiac muscles from exercise group. These results demonstrate that habitual exercise does not alter the basal level of autophagy. The beneficial effects of performing habitual exercise are possibly mediated by the exercise-induced genes -PGC-1alpha and HSP72.

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