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Slow component of VO2 kinetics: the effect of training status, fibre type, UCP3 mRNA and citrate synthase activity
journal contributionposted on 2002-02-01, 00:00 authored by Aaron RussellAaron Russell, Glenn WadleyGlenn Wadley, Rod SnowRod Snow, J P Giacobino, P Muzzin, Andrew GarnhamAndrew Garnham, D Cameron-Smith
OBJECTIVE: In healthy individuals performing constant-load exercise at intensities above the lactate threshold a secondary rise in pulmonary oxygen uptake (V̇O 2 ) occurs. V̇O 2 reaches a maximum and exhaustion rapidly prevails for a range of work rates lower than the maximal work rate achieved during a conventional rapid-incremental test. This phenomenon is called the slow component (SC) of V̇O 2 kinetics and represents an increase in V̇O 2 without an increase in work rate. Although still under debate, the magnitude of the SC is believed to be associated with the percentage of type II muscle fibres and their recruitment. In this study we investigated the relationship between the magnitude of the relative SC, citrate synthase activity, UCP2 and UCP3 mRNA levels and muscle fibre composition in both endurance-trained and recreationally active subjects. METHOD: The magnitude of the relative SC was measured in 12 endurance-trained (Tr) and 15 recreationally active (RA) male subjects. The magnitude of the relative SC was determined as the difference between the end-exercise V̇O 2 and 3 min V̇O 2 divided by the difference between end-exercise V̇O 2 and baseline V̇O 2 . UCP2 and UCP3 mRNA expression in the vastus lateralis was measured by RT-PCR with β-actin mRNA used as an internal control. These values were also normalized against cytochrome-b mRNA to control for training induced changes in mitochondria when comparing the Tr and RA groups. Type I, IIa and IIx skeletal muscle fibre composition was determined using a routine myosin ATPase histochemical staining technique. Citrate synthase (CS) activity was measured using spectrophotometric detection. RESULTS: The magnitude of the relative SC of the Tr group had the highest correlation with citrate synthase activity (r= -0.90, P < 0.001) and that of the RA group with V̇O 2 peak (r= -0.68, P < 0.01). For the Tr group other correlations with the magnitude of the relative SC included UCP3 mRNA levels (r=0.69, P < 0.05) and the percentage of type I fibres (r= -0.58, P < 0.05), while for the RA group they included UCP3 mRNA (r=0.58, P < 0.05) and the percentage of type IIa muscle fibres (r=0.59, P < 0.05). The Tr subjects had a lower relative SC (P=0.04) and a lower expression of UCP2 (P=0.04), and UCP3 mRNA (P=0.01) than the RA subjects. When the groups were combined the magnitude of the relative SC correlated with UCP3 mRNA (r=0.70, P < 0.01), percentage of type IIa muscle fibres (r=0.60, P < 0.01) and V̇O 2 peak (r= -0.73, P < 0.01). Additionally UCP3 mRNA correlated with the percentage of type IIa muscle fibres (r=0.63, P < 0.001). CONCLUSION: Citrate synthase activity and V̇O 2 peak are indicators of aerobic fitness. The high negative correlations between the magnitude of the relative SC and citrate synthase activity and V̇O 2 peak, of the Tr and RA subjects, respectively, suggests that the magnitude of the relative SC is inversely correlated with aerobic fitness. Additionally the correlations between UCP3 mRNA and the magnitude of the relative SC for both groups individually and combined suggest that the uncoupling activity of the UCP3 protein may also influence the magnitude of the relative SC.