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Hypertrophy-Promoting Effects of Leucine Supplementation and Moderate Intensity Aerobic Exercise in Pre-Senescent Mice

Exercise Physiology and Biochemistry Laboratory, College of Physical Education, Jinggangshan University, Ji’an 343009, China
Exercise Intervention and Health Promotion Hubei Province Synergy Innovation Center, Wuhan Sports University, Wuhan 430079, China
Department of Kinesiology, Coastal Carolina University, Conway, SC 29528-6054, USA
Exercise Physiology Laboratory, Department of Exercise Physiology, Beijing Sport University, Beijing 100084, China
Muscle Physiology and Human Performance Research Group, Center of Physical Education and Sports, Federal University of Espirito Santo, Vitória/ES 29075-810, Brazil
Division of Exercise Physiology, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV 26506-9227, USA
Department of Sports Medicine, Chengdu Sport University, Chengdu 610041, China
Department of Physical Education, Federal University of Maranhão (UFMA), São Luís-MA 65020-070, Brazil
Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Biology of Skeletal Muscle (LABCEMME), São Luís-MA 65020-070, Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Nutrients 2016, 8(5), 246;
Received: 27 December 2015 / Revised: 19 April 2016 / Accepted: 20 April 2016 / Published: 2 May 2016
Several studies have indicated a positive influence of leucine supplementation and aerobic training on the aging skeletal muscle signaling pathways that control muscle protein balance and muscle remodeling. However, the effect of a combined intervention requires further clarification. Thirteen month old CD-1® mice were subjected to moderate aerobic exercise (45 min swimming per day with 3% body weight workload) and fed a chow diet with 5% leucine or 3.4% alanine for 8 weeks. Serum and plasma were prepared for glucose, urea nitrogen, insulin and amino acid profile analysis. The white gastrocnemius muscles were used for determination of muscle size and signaling proteins involved in protein synthesis and degradation. The results show that both 8 weeks of leucine supplementation and aerobic training elevated the activity of mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) and its downstream target p70S6K and 4E-BP1, inhibited the ubiquitin-proteasome system, and increased fiber cross-sectional area (CSA) in white gastrocnemius muscle. Moreover, leucine supplementation in combination with exercise demonstrated more significant effects, such as greater CSA, protein content and altered phosphorylation (suggestive of increased activity) of protein synthesis signaling proteins, in addition to lower expression of proteins involved in protein degradation compared to leucine or exercise alone. The current study shows moderate aerobic training combined with 5% leucine supplementation has the potential to increase muscle size in fast-twitch skeletal muscle during aging, potentially through increased protein synthesis and decreased protein breakdown. View Full-Text
Keywords: leucine-rich diet; aerobic exercise; aging; protein metabolism leucine-rich diet; aerobic exercise; aging; protein metabolism
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Xia, Z.; Cholewa, J.; Zhao, Y.; Yang, Y.-Q.; Shang, H.-Y.; Guimarães-Ferreira, L.; Naimo, M.A.; Su, Q.-S.; Zanchi, N.E. Hypertrophy-Promoting Effects of Leucine Supplementation and Moderate Intensity Aerobic Exercise in Pre-Senescent Mice. Nutrients 2016, 8, 246.

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