Short-term training alters the control of mitochondrial respiration rate before maximal oxidative ATP synthesis

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Short-term exercise training may induce metabolic and performance adaptations before any changes in mitochondrial enzyme potential. However, there has not been a study that has directly assessed changes in mitochondrial oxidative capacity or metabolic control as a consequence of such training in vivo. Therefore, we used 31P-magnetic resonance spectroscopy (31P-MRS) to examine the effect of short-term plantar flexion exercise training on phosphocreatine (PCr) recovery kinetics and the control of respiration rate.


To this aim, we investigated 12 healthy men, experienced with this exercise modality (TRA), and 7 time-control subjects (TC).


After 5 days of training, maximum work rate during incremental plantar flexion exercise was significantly improved (P<0.01). During the recovery period, the maximal rate of oxidative adenosine triphosphate synthesis (PRE: 28 ± 13 mM min−1; POST: 26 ± 15 mM min−1) and the PCr recovery time constant (PRE: 31 ± 19 s; POST: 29 ± 16) were not significantly altered. In contrast, the Hill coefficient (nH) describing the co-operativity between respiration rate and ADP was significantly increased in TRA (PRE: nH = 2.7 ± 1.4; POST: nH = 3.4 ± 1.9, P<0.05). Meanwhile, there were no systematic variations in any of these variables in TC.


This study reveals that 5 days of training induces rapid adaptation in the allosteric control of respiration rate by ADP before any substantial improvement in muscle oxidative capacity occurs.

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