PGC-1alpha plays a functional role in exercise-induced mitochondrial biogenesis and angiogenesis but not fiber-type transformation in mouse skeletal muscle.Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 2010; 298(3):C572-9AJ
Endurance exercise stimulates peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator-1alpha (PGC-1alpha) expression in skeletal muscle, and forced expression of PGC-1alpha changes muscle metabolism and exercise capacity in mice. However, it is unclear if PGC-1alpha is indispensible for endurance exercise-induced metabolic and contractile adaptations in skeletal muscle. In this study, we showed that endurance exercise-induced expression of mitochondrial enzymes (cytochrome oxidase IV and cytochrome c) and increases of platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (PECAM-1, CD31)-positive endothelial cells in skeletal muscle, but not IIb-to-IIa fiber-type transformation, were significantly attenuated in muscle-specific Pgc-1alpha knockout mice. Interestingly, voluntary running effectively restored the compromised mitochondrial integrity and superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2) protein expression in skeletal muscle in Pgc-1alpha knockout mice. Thus, PGC-1alpha plays a functional role in endurance exercise-induced mitochondrial biogenesis and angiogenesis, but not IIb-to-IIa fiber-type transformation in mouse skeletal muscle, and the improvement of mitochondrial morphology and antioxidant defense in response to endurance exercise may occur independently of PGC-1alpha function. We conclude that PGC-1alpha is required for complete skeletal muscle adaptations induced by endurance exercise in mice.