Publications by authors named "Joachim Nielsen"

31 Publications

Nampt controls skeletal muscle development by maintaining Ca homeostasis and mitochondrial integrity.

Mol Metab 2021 Jun 11;53:101271. Epub 2021 Jun 11.

Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark. Electronic address:

Objective: NAD is a co-factor and substrate for enzymes maintaining energy homeostasis. Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) controls NAD synthesis, and in skeletal muscle, NAD is essential for muscle integrity. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms by which NAD synthesis affects muscle health remain poorly understood. Thus, the objective of the current study was to delineate the role of NAMPT-mediated NAD biosynthesis in skeletal muscle development and function.

Methods: To determine the role of Nampt in muscle development and function, we generated skeletal muscle-specific Nampt KO (SMNKO) mice. We performed a comprehensive phenotypic characterization of the SMNKO mice, including metabolic measurements, histological examinations, and RNA sequencing analyses of skeletal muscle from SMNKO mice and WT littermates.

Results: SMNKO mice were smaller, with phenotypic changes in skeletal muscle, including reduced fiber area and increased number of centralized nuclei. The majority of SMNKO mice died prematurely. Transcriptomic analysis identified that the gene encoding the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) regulator Cyclophilin D (Ppif) was upregulated in skeletal muscle of SMNKO mice from 2 weeks of age, with associated increased sensitivity of mitochondria to the Ca-stimulated mPTP opening. Treatment of SMNKO mice with the Cyclophilin D inhibitor, Cyclosporine A, increased membrane integrity, decreased the number of centralized nuclei, and increased survival.

Conclusions: Our study demonstrates that NAMPT is crucial for maintaining cellular Ca homeostasis and skeletal muscle development, which is vital for juvenile survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molmet.2021.101271DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8259345PMC
June 2021

Short-term intensified training temporarily impairs mitochondrial respiratory capacity in elite endurance athletes.

J Appl Physiol (1985) 2021 07 10;131(1):388-400. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

Åstrand Laboratory, Department of Physiology, Nutrition, and Biomechanics, The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences (GIH), Stockholm, Sweden.

The maintenance of healthy and functional mitochondria is the result of a complex mitochondrial turnover and herein quality-control program that includes both mitochondrial biogenesis and autophagy of mitochondria. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of an intensified training load on skeletal muscle mitochondrial quality control in relation to changes in mitochondrial oxidative capacity, maximal oxygen consumption, and performance in highly trained endurance athletes. Elite endurance athletes ( = 27) performed high-intensity interval exercise followed by moderate-intensity continuous exercise 3 days per week for 4 wk in addition to their usual volume of training. Mitochondrial oxidative capacity, abundance of mitochondrial proteins, markers of autophagy, and antioxidant capacity of skeletal muscle were assessed in skeletal muscle biopsies before and after the intensified training period. The intensified training period increased several autophagy markers suggesting an increased turnover of mitochondrial and cytosolic proteins. In permeabilized muscle fibers, mitochondrial respiration was ∼20% lower after training although some markers of mitochondrial density increased by 5%-50%, indicative of a reduced mitochondrial quality by the intensified training intervention. The antioxidative proteins UCP3, ANT1, and SOD2 were increased after training, whereas we found an inactivation of aconitase. In agreement with the lower aconitase activity, the amount of mitochondrial LON protease that selectively degrades oxidized aconitase was doubled. Together, this suggests that mitochondrial respiratory function is impaired during the initial recovery from a period of intensified endurance training whereas mitochondrial quality control is slightly activated in highly trained skeletal muscle. We show that mitochondrial respiration is temporarily impaired after a period of intensified exercise training in elite athletes. In parallel, proteins involved in the antioxidative response including SOD2, UCP3, and ANT2 were upregulated, whereas mitochondrial biogenesis was slightly activated. Despite the mitochondrial respiratory impairments, physical performance was improved a few days after the intense training period.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.00829.2020DOI Listing
July 2021

Glycogen supercompensation is due to increased number, not size, of glycogen particles in human skeletal muscle.

Exp Physiol 2021 May 26;106(5):1272-1284. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.

New Findings: What is the central question of this study? Glycogen supercompensation after glycogen-depleting exercise can be achieved by consuming a carbohydrate-enriched diet, but the associated effects on the size, number and localization of intramuscular glycogen particles are unknown. What is the main finding and its importance? Using transmission electron microscopy to inspect individual glycogen particles visually, we show that glycogen supercompensation is achieved by increasing the number of particles while keeping them at submaximal sizes. This might be a strategy to ensure that glycogen particles can be used fast, because particles that are too large might impair utilization rate.

Abstract: Glycogen supercompensation after glycogen-depleting exercise can be achieved by consuming a carbohydrate-enriched diet, but the associated effects on the size, number and localization of intramuscular glycogen particles are unknown. We investigated how a glycogen-loading protocol affects fibre type-specific glycogen volume density, particle diameter and numerical density in three subcellular pools: between (intermyofibrillar) or within (intramyofibrillar) the myofibrils or beneath the sarcolemma (subsarcolemmal). Resting muscle biopsies from 11 physically active men were analysed using transmission electron microscopy after mixed (MIX), LOW or HIGH carbohydrate consumption separated by glycogen-lowering cycling at 75% of maximal oxygen consumption until exhaustion. After HIGH, the total volumetric glycogen content was 40% [95% confidence interval 16, 68] higher than after MIX in type I fibres (P < 0.001), with little to no difference in type II fibres (9% [95% confidence interval -9, 27]). Median particle diameter was 22.5 (interquartile range 20.8-24.7) nm across glycogen pools and fibre types, and the numerical density was 61% [25, 107] and 40% [9, 80] higher in the subsarcolemmal (P < 0.001) and intermyofibrillar (P < 0.01) pools of type I fibres, respectively, with little to no difference in the intramyofibrillar pool (3% [-20, 32]). In LOW, total glycogen was in the range of 21-23% lower, relative to MIX, in both fibre types, reflected in a 21-46% lower numerical density across pools. In comparison to MIX, particle diameter was unaffected by other diets ([-1.4, 1.3] nm). In conclusion, glycogen supercompensation after prolonged cycling is exclusive to type I fibres, predominantly in the subsarcolemmal pool, and involves an increase in the numerical density rather than the size of existing glycogen particles.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1113/EP089317DOI Listing
May 2021

Subcellular localization- and fibre type-dependent utilization of muscle glycogen during heavy resistance exercise in elite power and Olympic weightlifters.

Acta Physiol (Oxf) 2021 02 4;231(2):e13561. Epub 2020 Oct 4.

Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense M, Denmark.

Aim: Glycogen particles are found in different subcellular localizations, which are utilized heterogeneously in different fibre types during endurance exercise. Although resistance exercise typically involves only a moderate use of mixed muscle glycogen, the hypothesis of the present study was that high-volume heavy-load resistance exercise would mediate a pattern of substantial glycogen depletion in specific subcellular localizations and fibre types.

Methods: 10 male elite weightlifters performed resistance exercise consisting of four sets of five (4 × 5) repetitions at 75% of 1RM back squats, 4 × 5 at 75% of 1RM deadlifts and 4 × 12 at 65% of 1RM rear foot elevated split squats. Muscle biopsies (vastus lateralis) were obtained before and after the exercise session. The volumetric content of intermyofibrillar (between myofibrils), intramyofibrillar (within myofibrils) and subsarcolemmal glycogen was assessed by transmission electron microscopy.

Results: After exercise, biochemically determined muscle glycogen decreased by 38 (31:45)%. Location-specific glycogen analyses revealed in type 1 fibres a large decrement in intermyofibrillar glycogen, but no or only minor changes in intramyofibrillar or subsarcolemmal glycogen. In type 2 fibres, large decrements in glycogen were observed in all subcellular localizations. Notably, a substantial fraction of the type 2 fibres demonstrated near-depleted levels of intramyofibrillar glycogen after the exercise session.

Conclusion: Heavy resistance exercise mediates a substantial utilization of glycogen from all three subcellular localization in type 2 fibres, while mostly taxing intermyofibrillar glycogen stores in type 1 fibres. Thus, a better understanding of the impact of resistance training on myocellular metabolism and performance requires a focus on compartmentalized glycogen utilization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/apha.13561DOI Listing
February 2021

Effects of Acute Exercise and Training on the Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Ca Release and Uptake Rates in Highly Trained Endurance Athletes.

Front Physiol 2020 7;11:810. Epub 2020 Jul 7.

Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.

Little is presently known about the effects of acute high-intensity exercise or training on release and uptake of Ca by the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR). The aims here were to characterize this regulation in highly trained athletes following (1) repeated bouts of high-intensity exercise and (2) a period of endurance training including high-intensity sessions. Eleven cross-country skiers (25 ± 4 years, 65 ± 4 mL O⋅kg⋅min) performed four self-paced sprint time-trials (STT 1-4) lasting ≈ 4 min each (STT 1-4) and separated by 45 min of recovery; while 19 triathletes and road cyclists (25 ± 4 years, 65 ± 5 mL O⋅kg⋅min) completed 4 weeks of endurance training in combination with three sessions of high-intensity interval cycling per week. Release (μmol⋅g prot⋅min) and uptake [tau (s)] of Ca by SR vesicles isolated from m. and m. were determined before and after STT 1 and 4 in the skiers and in m. before and after the 4 weeks of training in the endurance athletes. The Ca release rate was reduced by 17-18% in both limbs already after STT 1 (arms: 2.52 ± 0.74 to 2.08 ± 0.60; legs: 2.41 ± 0.45 to 1.98 ± 0.51, < 0.0001) and attenuated further following STT 4 (arms: 2.24 ± 0.67 to 1.95 ± 0.45; legs: 2.13 ± 0.51 to 1.83 ± 0.36, < 0.0001). Also, there was a tendency toward an impairment in the SR Ca uptake from pre STT1 to post STT4 in both arms and legs (arms: from 22.0 ± 3.7 s to 25.3 ± 6.0 s; legs: from 22.5 ± 4.7 s to 25.5 ± 7.7 s, = 0.05). Endurance training combined with high-intensity exercise increased the Ca release rate by 9% (1.76 ± 0.38 to 1.91 ± 0.44, = 0.009), without altering the Ca uptake (29.6 ± 7.0 to 29.1 ± 8.7 s; = 0.98). In conclusion, the Ca release and uptake rates by SR in exercising limbs of highly trained athletes declines gradually by repetitive bouts of high-intensity exercise. We also demonstrate, for the first time, that the SR Ca release rate can be enhanced by a specific program of training in highly trained athletes, which may have important implications for performance parameters.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2020.00810DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7359889PMC
July 2020

Heterogeneity in subcellular muscle glycogen utilisation during exercise impacts endurance capacity in men.

J Physiol 2020 10 7;598(19):4271-4292. Epub 2020 Aug 7.

Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark.

Key Points: When muscle biopsies first began to be used routinely in research on exercise physiology five decades ago, it soon become clear that the muscle content of glycogen is an important determinant of exercise performance. Glycogen particles are stored in distinct pools within the muscles, but the role of each pool during exercise and how this is affected by diet is unknown. Here, the effects of diet and exercise on these pools, as well as their relation to endurance during prolonged cycling were examined. We demonstrate here that an improved endurance capacity with high carbohydrate loading is associated with a temporal shift in the utilisation of the distinct stores of glycogen pools and is closely linked to the content of the glycogen pool closest to actin and myosin (intramyofibrillar glycogen). These findings highlight the functional importance of distinguishing between different subcellular microcompartments of glycogen in individual muscle fibres.

Abstract: In muscle cells, glycogen is stored in three distinct subcellular pools: between or within myofibrils (inter- and intramyofibrillar glycogen, respectively) or beneath the sarcolemma (subsarcolemmal glycogen) and these pools may well have different functions. Here, we investigated the effect of diet and exercise on the content of these distinct pools and their relation to endurance capacity in type 1 and 2 muscle fibres. Following consumption of three different diets (normal, mixed diet = MIX, high in carbohydrate = HIGH, or low in carbohydrate = LOW) for 72 h, 11 men cycled at 75% of max until exhaustion. The volumetric content of the glycogen pools in muscle biopsies obtained before, during, and after exercise were quantified by transmission electron micrographs. The mean (SD) time to exhaustion was 150 (30), 112 (22), and 69 (18) minutes in the HIGH, MIX and LOW trials, respectively (P < 0.001). As shown by multiple regression analyses, the intramyofibrillar glycogen content in type 1 fibres, particularly after 60 min of exercise, correlated most strongly with time to exhaustion. In the HIGH trial, intramyofibrillar glycogen was spared during the initial 60 min of exercise, which was associated with levels and utilisation of subsarcolemmal glycogen above normal. In all trials, utilisation of subsarcolemmal and intramyofibrillar glycogen was more pronounced than that of intermyofibrillar glycogen in relative terms. In conclusion, the muscle pool of intramyofibrillar glycogen appears to be the most important for endurance capacity in humans. In addition, a local abundance of subsarcolemmal glycogen reduces the utilisation of intramyofibrillar glycogen during exercise.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1113/JP280247DOI Listing
October 2020

Utilization of biomarkers as predictors of skeletal muscle mitochondrial content after physiological intervention and in clinical settings.

Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 2020 06 7;318(6):E886-E889. Epub 2020 Apr 7.

Department of Public Health, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark.

The measurement of mitochondrial content is essential for bioenergetic research, as it provides a tool to evaluate whether changes in mitochondrial function are strictly due to changes in content or other mechanisms that influence function. In this perspective, we argue that commonly used biomarkers of mitochondrial content may possess limited utility for capturing changes in content with physiological intervention. Moreover, we argue that they may not provide reliable estimates of content in certain pathological situations. Finally, we discuss potential solutions to overcome issues related to the utilization of biomarkers of mitochondrial content. Shedding light on this important issue will hopefully aid conclusions about the mitochondrial structure-function relationship.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpendo.00101.2020DOI Listing
June 2020

Mitochondrial Structure and Function in the Metabolic Myopathy Accompanying Patients with Critical Limb Ischemia.

Cells 2020 02 28;9(3). Epub 2020 Feb 28.

Department of Public Health, Aarhus University, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark.

Mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated as a central mechanism in the metabolic myopathy accompanying critical limb ischemia (CLI). However, whether mitochondrial dysfunction is directly related to lower extremity ischemia and the structural and molecular mechanisms underpinning mitochondrial dysfunction in CLI patients is not understood. Here, we aimed to study whether mitochondrial dysfunction is a distinctive characteristic of CLI myopathy by assessing mitochondrial respiration in gastrocnemius muscle from 14 CLI patients (65.3 ± 7.8 y) and 15 matched control patients (CON) with a similar comorbidity risk profile and medication regimen but without peripheral ischemia (67.4 ± 7.4 y). Furthermore, we studied potential structural and molecular mechanisms of mitochondrial dysfunction by measuring total, sub-population, and fiber-type-specific mitochondrial volumetric content and cristae density with transmission electron microscopy and by assessing mitophagy and fission/fusion-related protein expression. Finally, we asked whether commonly used biomarkers of mitochondrial content are valid in patients with cardiovascular disease. CLI patients exhibited inferior mitochondrial respiration compared to CON. This respiratory deficit was not related to lower whole-muscle mitochondrial content or cristae density. However, stratification for fiber types revealed ultrastructural mitochondrial alterations in CLI patients compared to CON. CLI patients exhibited an altered expression of mitophagy-related proteins but not fission/fusion-related proteins compared to CON. Citrate synthase, cytochrome c oxidase subunit IV (COXIV), and 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase (β-HAD) could not predict mitochondrial content. Mitochondrial dysfunction is a distinctive characteristic of CLI myopathy and is not related to altered organelle content or cristae density. Our results link this intrinsic mitochondrial deficit to dysregulation of the mitochondrial quality control system, which has implications for the development of therapeutic strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cells9030570DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7140415PMC
February 2020

Inhibition of glycogenolysis prolongs action potential repriming period and impairs muscle function in rat skeletal muscle.

J Physiol 2020 02 3;598(4):789-803. Epub 2020 Feb 3.

Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, 5230 Odense M, Denmark.

Key Points: Muscle glycogen content is associated with muscle function, but the physiological link between the two is poorly understood. This study investigated the effects of inhibiting glycogenolysis, while maintaining high overall energy status, on different aspects of muscle function. We demonstrate here that Na ,K -ATPase activity depends on glycogenolytically derived ATP regardless of high global ATP, with a decrease in activity leading to reduced force production and accelerated fatigue development. The results support the concept of compartmentalized energy transfer with glycogen metabolism playing a crucial role in intramuscular ATP resynthesis and ion regulation. This study gives specific insights into muscular function and may help towards a better understanding of glycogen storage diseases and muscle fatigue.

Abstract: Skeletal muscle glycogen content is associated with muscle function and fatigability. However, little is known about the physiological link between glycogen content and muscle function. Here we aimed to investigate the importance of glycogenolytically derived ATP per se on muscle force and action potential (AP) repriming period, i.e. the time before a second AP can be produced (indicative of Na ,K -ATPase activity). Single fibres from rat extensor digitorum longus muscles were isolated and mechanically skinned in order to investigate force production and the AP repriming period while global ATP and PCr concentrations were kept high. The importance of glycogenolytically derived ATP was studied by inhibition of glycogen phosphorylase (1,4-dideoxy-1,4-imino-d-arabinitol (DAB; 2 mm) or CP-316,819 (CP; 10 µm)) or glycogen removal (amyloglucosidase, 20 U ml ). Tetanic force decreased by (mean (SD)) 21 (15)% (P < 0.001) and 76 (28)% (DAB) or 94 (6)% (CP, P < 0.001) in well-polarized and partially depolarized fibres, respectively. In depolarized fibres, twitch force decreased by 16 (10)% and 55 (26)% with DAB and CP, respectively, with no effect in well-polarized fibres (84 (10)%, P = 0.14). There was no effect of glycogen phosphorylase inhibition on repriming period in well-polarized fibres (median (25th, 75th percentile): 5 (4, 5) vs. 4 (4, 5) ms, P = 0.26), while the repriming period was prolonged from 6 (5, 7) to 8 (7, 10) ms (P = 0.01) in partially depolarized fibres. In line with this, glycogen removal increased repriming period from 5 (5, 6) to 6 (5, 7) ms (P = 0.003) in depolarized fibres. Together, these data strongly indicate that blocking glycogenolysis attenuates Na ,K -ATPase activity, which in turn increases the repriming period and reduces force, demonstrating a functional link between glycogenolytically derived ATP and force production.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1113/JP278543DOI Listing
February 2020

Myocardial subcellular glycogen distribution and sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca handling: effects of ischaemia, reperfusion and ischaemic preconditioning.

J Muscle Res Cell Motil 2021 03 19;42(1):17-31. Epub 2019 Oct 19.

Department of Cardiology, Aarhus University Hospital, 8200, Aarhus N, Denmark.

Ischaemic preconditioning (IPC) protects against myocardial ischaemia-reperfusion injury. The metabolic and ionic effects of IPC remain to be clarified in detail. We aimed to investigate the effect of IPC (2 times 5 min ischaemia) on the subcellular distribution of glycogen and Ca-uptake and leakiness by the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) in response to ischaemia-reperfusion in cardiomyocytes of isolated perfused rat hearts (Wistar rats, 335 ± 25 g). As estimated by quantitative transmission electron microscopy, the pre-ischaemic contribution [%, mean (95% CI)] of three sub-fractions of glycogen relative to total glycogen was 50 (39:61) as subsarcolemmal, 41 (31:50) as intermyofibrillar, and 9 (5:13) as intramyofibrillar glycogen. After 25 min of ischaemia, the relative contribution (%) of subsarcolemmal glycogen decreased to 39 (32:47) in control hearts (Con) and to 38 (31:45) in IPC. After 15 min reperfusion the contribution of subsarcolemmal glycogen was restored to pre-ischaemic levels in IPC hearts, but not in Con hearts. IPC increased the left ventricular developed pressure following ischaemia-reperfusion compared with Con. In saponin-skinned cardiomyocyte bundles, ischaemia reduced the SR Ca-uptake rate, with no effect of IPC. However, IPC reduced a SR Ca-leakage at pre-ischaemia, after ischaemia and during reperfusion. In conclusion, subsarcolemmal glycogen was preferentially utilised during sustained myocardial ischaemia. IPC improved left ventricular function reflecting reduced ischaemia-reperfusion injury, mediated a re-distribution of glycogen towards a preferential storage within the subsarcolemmal space during reperfusion, and lowered SR Ca-leakage. Under the present conditions, we found no temporal associations between alterations in glycogen localisation and SR Ca kinetics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10974-019-09557-3DOI Listing
March 2021

The Muscle Fiber Profiles, Mitochondrial Content, and Enzyme Activities of the Exceptionally Well-Trained Arm and Leg Muscles of Elite Cross-Country Skiers.

Front Physiol 2018 2;9:1031. Epub 2018 Aug 2.

Swedish Winter Sports Research Centre, Mid Sweden University, Östersund, Sweden.

As one of the most physically demanding sports in the Olympic Games, cross-country skiing poses considerable challenges with respect to both force generation and endurance during the combined upper- and lower-body effort of varying intensity and duration. The isoforms of myosin in skeletal muscle have long been considered not only to define the contractile properties, but also to determine metabolic capacities. The current investigation was designed to explore the relationship between these isoforms and metabolic profiles in the arms () and legs () as well as the range of training responses in the muscle fibers of elite cross-country skiers with equally and exceptionally well-trained upper and lower bodies. The proportion of myosin heavy chain (MHC)-1 was higher in the leg (58 ± 2% [34-69%]) than arm (40 ± 3% [24-57%]), although the mitochondrial volume percentages [8.6 ± 1.6 (leg) and 9.0 ± 2.0 (arm)], and average number of capillaries per fiber [5.8 ± 0.8 (leg) and 6.3 ± 0.3 (arm)] were the same. In these comparable highly trained leg and arm muscles, the maximal citrate synthase (CS) activity was the same. Still, 3-hydroxy-acyl-CoA-dehydrogenase (HAD) capacity was 52% higher ( < 0.05) in the leg compared to arm muscles, suggesting a relatively higher capacity for lipid oxidation in leg muscle, which cannot be explained by the different fiber type distributions. For both limbs combined, HAD activity was correlated with the content of MHC-1 ( = 0.32, = 0.011), whereas CS activity was not. Thus, in these highly trained cross-country skiers capillarization of and mitochondrial volume in type 2 fiber can be at least as high as in type 1 fibers, indicating a divergence between fiber type pattern and aerobic metabolic capacity. The considerable variability in oxidative metabolism with similar MHC profiles provides a new perspective on exercise training. Furthermore, the clear differences between equally well-trained arm and leg muscles regarding HAD activity cannot be explained by training status or MHC distribution, thereby indicating an intrinsic metabolic difference between the upper and lower body. Moreover, trained type 1 and type 2A muscle fibers exhibited similar aerobic capacity regardless of whether they were located in an arm or leg muscle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2018.01031DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6084043PMC
August 2018

High-intensity interval, but not endurance, training induces muscle fiber type-specific subsarcolemmal lipid droplet size reduction in type 2 diabetic patients.

Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 2018 11 17;315(5):E872-E884. Epub 2018 Jul 17.

Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southern Denmark , Odense , Denmark.

This study compared the effects of moderate-intensity endurance training and high-intensity interval training on fiber type-specific subcellular volumetric content and morphology of lipid droplets and mitochondria in skeletal muscles of type 2 diabetic patients. Sixteen sedentary type 2 diabetic patients (57 ± 7 yr old) were randomized to complete 11 wk of either 40-min cycling at 50% peak workload (Endurance, n = 8) or 10 1-min cycling intervals at 95% peak workload separated by 1 min of recovery (High-Intensity Interval, n = 8), three times per week. Assessments for cardiorespiratory fitness, body composition, glycemic control, together with muscle biopsies were performed before and after the intervention. Morphometric analyses of lipid droplets and mitochondria were conducted in the subcellular fractions of biopsied muscle fibers using quantitative electron microscopy. The training intervention increased cardiorespiratory fitness, lowered fat mass, and improved nonfasting glycemic control ( P < 0.05), with no difference between training modalities. In the subsarcolemmal space, training decreased lipid droplet volume ( P = 0.003), and high-intensity interval, but not endurance, training reduced the size of lipid droplets, specifically in type 2 fibers ( P < 0.001). No training-induced change in intermyofibrillar lipid droplets was observed in both fiber types. Subsarcolemmal mitochondrial volume was increased by high-intensity interval ( P = 0.02), but not endurance, training ( P = 0.79). Along with improvement in glycemic control, low-volume high-intensity interval training is an alternative time-saving training modality that affects subcellular morphology and volumetric content of lipid droplets in skeletal muscle of type 2 diabetic patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpendo.00161.2018DOI Listing
November 2018

Fundamental constraints in synchronous muscle limit superfast motor control in vertebrates.

Elife 2017 11 22;6. Epub 2017 Nov 22.

Department of Biology, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.

Superfast muscles (SFMs) are extremely fast synchronous muscles capable of contraction rates up to 250 Hz, enabling precise motor execution at the millisecond time scale. SFM phenotypes have been discovered in most major vertebrate lineages, but it remains unknown whether all SFMs share excitation-contraction coupling pathway adaptations for speed, and if SFMs arose once, or from independent evolutionary events. Here, we demonstrate that to achieve rapid actomyosin crossbridge kinetics bat and songbird SFM express myosin heavy chain genes that are evolutionarily and ontologically distinct. Furthermore, we show that all known SFMs share multiple functional adaptations that minimize excitation-contraction coupling transduction times. Our results suggest that SFM evolved independently in sound-producing organs in ray-finned fish, birds, and mammals, and that SFM phenotypes operate at a maximum operational speed set by fundamental constraints in synchronous muscle. Consequentially, these constraints set a fundamental limit to the maximum speed of fine motor control.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.29425DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5699865PMC
November 2017

Lipid droplet size and location in human skeletal muscle fibers are associated with insulin sensitivity.

Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 2017 12 25;313(6):E721-E730. Epub 2017 Jul 25.

Department of Endocrinology and Internal Medicine, NBG/THG, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.

In skeletal muscle, an accumulation of lipid droplets (LDs) in the subsarcolemmal space is associated with insulin resistance, but the underlying mechanism is not clear. We aimed to investigate how the size, number, and location of LDs are associated with insulin sensitivity and muscle fiber types and are regulated by aerobic training and treatment with an erythropoiesis-stimulating agent (ESA) in healthy young untrained men. LD analyses were performed by quantitative transmission electron microscopy, and insulin sensitivity was assessed by a hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp. At baseline, we found that only the diameter (and not the number) of individual subsarcolemmal LDs was negatively associated with insulin sensitivity ( = 0.20, = 0.03, = 29). Despite 34% ( = 0.004) fewer LDs, the diameter of individual subsarcolemmal LDs was 20% ( = 0.0004) larger in type 2 fibers than in type 1 fibers. Furthermore, aerobic training decreased the size of subsarcolemmal LDs in the type 2 fibers, and ESA treatment lowered the number of both intermyofibrillar and subsarcolemmal LDs in the type 1 fibers. In conclusion, the size of individual subsarcolemmal LDs may be involved in the mechanism by which LDs are associated with insulin resistance in skeletal muscle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpendo.00062.2017DOI Listing
December 2017

Pronounced limb and fibre type differences in subcellular lipid droplet content and distribution in elite skiers before and after exhaustive exercise.

J Physiol 2017 09 16;595(17):5781-5795. Epub 2017 Jul 16.

Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, SDU Muscle Research Cluster (SMRC), University of Southern Denmark, Odense M, Denmark.

Key Points: Although lipid droplets in skeletal muscle are an important energy source during endurance exercise, our understanding of lipid metabolism in this context remains incomplete. Using transmission electron microscopy, two distinct subcellular pools of lipid droplets can be observed in skeletal muscle - one beneath the sarcolemma and the other between myofibrils. At rest, well-trained leg muscles of cross-country skiers contain 4- to 6-fold more lipid droplets than equally well-trained arm muscles, with a 3-fold higher content in type 1 than in type 2 fibres. During exhaustive exercise, lipid droplets between the myofibrils but not those beneath the sarcolemma are utilised by both type 1 and 2 fibres. These findings provide insight into compartmentalisation of lipid metabolism within skeletal muscle fibres.

Abstract: Although the intramyocellular lipid pool is an important energy store during prolonged exercise, our knowledge concerning its metabolism is still incomplete. Here, quantitative electron microscopy was used to examine subcellular distribution of lipid droplets in type 1 and 2 fibres of the arm and leg muscles before and after 1 h of exhaustive exercise. Intermyofibrillar lipid droplets accounted for 85-97% of the total volume fraction, while the subsarcolemmal pool made up 3-15%. Before exercise, the volume fractions of intermyofibrillar and subsarcolemmal lipid droplets were 4- to 6-fold higher in leg than in arm muscles (P < 0.001). Furthermore, the volume fraction of intermyofibrillar lipid droplets was 3-fold higher in type 1 than in type 2 fibres (P < 0.001), with no fibre type difference in the subsarcolemmal pool. Following exercise, intermyofibrillar lipid droplet volume fraction was 53% lower (P = 0.0082) in both fibre types in arm, but not leg muscles. This reduction was positively associated with the corresponding volume fraction prior to exercise (R  = 0.84, P < 0.0001). No exercise-induced change in the subsarcolemmal pool could be detected. These findings indicate clear differences in the subcellular distribution of lipid droplets in the type 1 and 2 fibres of well-trained arm and leg muscles, as well as preferential utilisation of the intermyofibrillar pool during prolonged exhaustive exercise. Apparently, the metabolism of lipid droplets within a muscle fibre is compartmentalised.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1113/JP274462DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5577519PMC
September 2017

Reply from Joachim Nielsen, Kasper D. Gejl and Niels Ørtenblad.

J Physiol 2017 05;595(9):2987-2988

Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, SDU Muscle Research Cluster, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1113/JP273880DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5407974PMC
May 2017

Plasticity in mitochondrial cristae density allows metabolic capacity modulation in human skeletal muscle.

J Physiol 2017 05 13;595(9):2839-2847. Epub 2016 Nov 13.

Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, SDU Muscle Research Cluster, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.

Key Points: In human skeletal muscles, the current view is that the capacity for mitochondrial energy production, and thus endurance capacity, is set by the mitochondria volume. However, increasing the mitochondrial inner membrane surface comprises an alternative mechanism for increasing the energy production capacity. In the present study, we show that mitochondrial inner membranes in leg muscles of endurance-trained athletes have an increased ratio of surface per mitochondrial volume. We show a positive correlation between this ratio and whole body oxygen uptake and muscle fibre mitochondrial content. The results obtained in the present study help us to understand modulation of mitochondrial function, as well as how mitochondria can increase their oxidative capacity with increased demand.

Abstract: Mitochondrial energy production involves the movement of protons down a large electrochemical gradient via ATP synthase located on the folded inner membrane, known as cristae. In mammalian skeletal muscle, the density of cristae in mitochondria is assumed to be constant. However, recent experimental studies have shown that respiration per mitochondria varies. Modelling studies have hypothesized that this variation in respiration per mitochondria depends on plasticity in cristae density, although current evidence for such a mechanism is lacking. In the present study, we confirm this hypothesis by showing that, in human skeletal muscle, and in contrast to the current view, the mitochondrial cristae density is not constant but, instead, exhibits plasticity with long-term endurance training. Furthermore, we show that frequently recruited mitochondria-enriched fibres have significantly increased cristae density and that, at the whole-body level, muscle mitochondrial cristae density is a better predictor of maximal oxygen uptake rate than muscle mitochondrial volume. Our findings establish an elevating mitochondrial cristae density as a regulatory mechanism for increasing metabolic power in human skeletal muscle. We propose that this mechanism allows evasion of the trade-off between cell occupancy by mitochondria and other cellular constituents, as well as improved metabolic capacity and fuel catabolism during prolonged elevated energy requirements.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1113/JP273040DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5407961PMC
May 2017

Local depletion of glycogen with supramaximal exercise in human skeletal muscle fibres.

J Physiol 2017 05 8;595(9):2809-2821. Epub 2016 Nov 8.

Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, SDU Muscle Research Cluster, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.

Key Points: Glycogen is stored in local spatially distinct compartments within skeletal muscle fibres and is the main energy source during supramaximal exercise. Using quantitative electron microscopy, we show that supramaximal exercise induces a differential depletion of glycogen from these compartments and also demonstrate how this varies with fibre types. Repeated exercise alters this compartmentalized glycogen depletion. The results obtained in the present study help us understand the muscle metabolic dynamics of whole body repeated supramaximal exercise, and suggest that the muscle has a compartmentalized local adaptation to repeated exercise, which affects glycogen depletion.

Abstract: Skeletal muscle glycogen is heterogeneously distributed in three separated compartments (intramyofibrillar, intermyofibrillar and subsarcolemmal). Although only constituting 3-13% of the total glycogen volume, the availability of intramyofibrillar glycogen is of particular importance to muscle function. The present study aimed to investigate the depletion of these three subcellular glycogen compartments during repeated supramaximal exercise in elite athletes. Ten elite cross-country skiers (aged 25 ± 4 years, V̇O2 max : 65 ± 4 ml kg  min ; mean ± SD) performed four ∼4 min supramaximal sprint time trials (STT 1-4) with 45 min of recovery. The subcellular glycogen volumes in musculus triceps brachii were quantified from electron microscopy images before and after both STT 1 and 4. During STT 1, the depletion of intramyofibrillar glycogen was higher in type 1 fibres [-52%; (-89:-15%)] than type 2 fibres [-15% (-52:22%)] (P = 0.02), whereas the depletion of intermyofibrillar glycogen [main effect: -19% (-33:0%), P = 0.006] and subsarcolemmal glycogen [main effect: -35% (-66:0%), P = 0.03] was similar between fibre types. By contrast, only intermyofibrillar glycogen volume was significantly reduced during STT 4, in both fibre types [main effect: -31% (-50:-11%), P = 0.002]. Furthermore, for each of the subcellular compartments, the depletion of glycogen during STT 1 was associated with the volumes of glycogen before STT 1. In conclusion, the depletion of spatially distinct glycogen compartments differs during supramaximal exercise. Furthermore, the depletion changes with repeated exercise and is fibre type-dependent.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1113/JP273109DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5407966PMC
May 2017

Low Oxygen Tension Enhances Expression of Myogenic Genes When Human Myoblasts Are Activated from G0 Arrest.

PLoS One 2016 21;11(7):e0158860. Epub 2016 Jul 21.

Institute of Clinical Research, SDU Muscle Research Cluster (SMRC), University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.

Objectives: Most cell culture studies have been performed at atmospheric oxygen tension of 21%, however the physiological oxygen tension is much lower and is a factor that may affect skeletal muscle myoblasts. In this study we have compared activation of G0 arrested myoblasts in 21% O2 and in 1% O2 in order to see how oxygen tension affects activation and proliferation of human myoblasts.

Materials And Methods: Human myoblasts were isolated from skeletal muscle tissue and G0 arrested in vitro followed by reactivation at 21% O2 and 1% O2. The effect was assesses by Real-time RT-PCR, immunocytochemistry and western blot.

Results And Conclusions: We found an increase in proliferation rate of myoblasts when activated at a low oxygen tension (1% O2) compared to 21% O2. In addition, the gene expression studies showed up regulation of the myogenesis related genes PAX3, PAX7, MYOD, MYOG (myogenin), MET, NCAM, DES (desmin), MEF2A, MEF2C and CDH15 (M-cadherin), however, the fraction of DES and MYOD positive cells was not increased by low oxygen tension, indicating that 1% O2 may not have a functional effect on the myogenic response. Furthermore, the expression of genes involved in the TGFβ, Notch and Wnt signaling pathways were also up regulated in low oxygen tension. The differences in gene expression were most pronounced at day one after activation from G0-arrest, thus the initial activation of myoblasts seemed most sensitive to changes in oxygen tension. Protein expression of HES1 and β-catenin indicated that notch signaling may be induced in 21% O2, while the canonical Wnt signaling may be induced in 1% O2 during activation and proliferation of myoblasts.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0158860PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4956100PMC
July 2017

Enhanced Glycogen Storage of a Subcellular Hot Spot in Human Skeletal Muscle during Early Recovery from Eccentric Contractions.

PLoS One 2015 21;10(5):e0127808. Epub 2015 May 21.

Section of Sport Science, Department of Public Health, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark.

Unaccustomed eccentric exercise is accompanied by muscle damage and impaired glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis during subsequent recovery. Recently, it was shown that the role and regulation of glycogen in skeletal muscle are dependent on its subcellular localization, and that glycogen synthesis, as described by the product of glycogen particle size and number, is dependent on the time course of recovery after exercise and carbohydrate availability. In the present study, we investigated the subcellular distribution of glycogen in fibers with high (type I) and low (type II) mitochondrial content during post-exercise recovery from eccentric contractions. Analysis was completed on five male subjects performing an exercise bout consisting of 15 x 10 maximal eccentric contractions. Carbohydrate-rich drinks were subsequently ingested throughout a 48 h recovery period and muscle biopsies for analysis included time points 3, 24 and 48 h post exercise from the exercising leg, whereas biopsies corresponding to prior to and at 48 h after the exercise bout were collected from the non-exercising, control leg. Quantitative imaging by transmission electron microscopy revealed an early (post 3 and 24 h) enhanced storage of intramyofibrillar glycogen (defined as glycogen particles located within the myofibrils) of type I fibers, which was associated with an increase in the number of particles. In contrast, late in recovery (post 48 h), intermyofibrillar, intramyofibrillar and subsarcolemmal glycogen in both type I and II fibers were lower in the exercise leg compared with the control leg, and this was associated with a smaller size of the glycogen particles. We conclude that in the carbohydrate-supplemented state, the effect of eccentric contractions on glycogen metabolism depends on the subcellular localization, muscle fiber's oxidative capacity, and the time course of recovery. The early enhanced storage of intramyofibrillar glycogen after the eccentric contractions may entail important implications for muscle function and fatigue resistance.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0127808PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4440641PMC
February 2016

Subcellular distribution of glycogen and decreased tetanic Ca2+ in fatigued single intact mouse muscle fibres.

J Physiol 2014 May 3;592(9):2003-12. Epub 2014 Mar 3.

In skeletal muscle fibres, glycogen has been shown to be stored at different subcellular locations: (i) between the myofibrils (intermyofibrillar); (ii) within the myofibrils (intramyofibrillar); and (iii) subsarcolemmal. Of these, intramyofibrillar glycogen has been implied as a critical regulator of sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) release. The aim of the present study was to test directly how the decrease in cytoplasmic free Ca(2+) ([Ca(2+)]i) during repeated tetanic contractions relates to the subcellular glycogen distribution. Single fibres of mouse flexor digitorum brevis muscles were fatigued with 70 Hz, 350 ms tetani given at 2 s (high-intensity fatigue, HIF) or 10 s (low-intensity fatigue, LIF) intervals, while force and [Ca(2+)]i were measured. Stimulation continued until force decreased to 30% of its initial value. Fibres were then prepared for analyses of subcellular glycogen distribution by transmission electron microscopy. At fatigue, tetanic [Ca(2+)]i was reduced to 70 ± 4% and 54 ± 4% of the initial in HIF (P < 0.01, n = 9) and LIF (P < 0.01, n = 5) fibres, respectively. At fatigue, the mean inter- and intramyofibrillar glycogen content was 60-75% lower than in rested control fibres (P < 0.05), whereas subsarcolemmal glycogen was similar to control. Individual fibres showed a good correlation between the fatigue-induced decrease in tetanic [Ca(2+)]i and the reduction in intermyofibrillar (P = 0.051) and intramyofibrillar (P = 0.0008) glycogen. In conclusion, the fatigue-induced decrease in tetanic [Ca(2+)]i, and hence force, is accompanied by major reductions in inter- and intramyofibrillar glycogen. The stronger correlation between decreased tetanic [Ca(2+)]i and reduced intramyofibrillar glycogen implies that sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) release critically depends on energy supply from the intramyofibrillar glycogen pool.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1113/jphysiol.2014.271528DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4230775PMC
May 2014

Muscle glycogen stores and fatigue.

J Physiol 2013 Sep 7;591(18):4405-13. Epub 2013 May 7.

N. Ørtenblad: Institute of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark.

  Studies performed at the beginning of the last century revealed the importance of carbohydrate as a fuel during exercise, and the importance of muscle glycogen on performance has subsequently been confirmed in numerous studies. However, the link between glycogen depletion and impaired muscle function during fatigue is not well understood and a direct cause-and-effect relationship between glycogen and muscle function remains to be established. The use of electron microscopy has revealed that glycogen is not homogeneously distributed in skeletal muscle fibres, but rather localized in distinct pools. Furthermore, each glycogen granule has its own metabolic machinery with glycolytic enzymes and regulating proteins. One pool of such glycogenolytic complexes is localized within the myofibrils in close contact with key proteins involved in the excitation-contraction coupling and Ca2+ release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR). We and others have provided experimental evidence in favour of a direct role of decreased glycogen, localized within the myofibrils, for the reduction in SR Ca2+ release during fatigue. This is consistent with compartmentalized energy turnover and distinctly localized glycogen pools being of key importance for SR Ca2+ release and thereby affecting muscle contractility and fatigability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1113/jphysiol.2013.251629DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3784189PMC
September 2013

Physiological aspects of the subcellular localization of glycogen in skeletal muscle.

Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 2013 Feb 9;38(2):91-9. Epub 2012 Nov 9.

SDU Muscle Research Cluster (SMRC), Institute of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense, Denmark.

Glucose is stored in skeletal muscle fibers as glycogen, a branched-chain polymer observed in electron microscopy images as roughly spherical particles (known as β-particles of 10-45 nm in diameter), which are distributed in distinct localizations within the myofibers and are physically associated with metabolic and scaffolding proteins. Although the subcellular localization of glycogen has been recognized for more than 40 years, the physiological role of the distinct localizations has received sparse attention. Recently, however, studies involving stereological, unbiased, quantitative methods have investigated the role and regulation of these distinct deposits of glycogen. In this report, we review the available literature regarding the subcellular localization of glycogen in skeletal muscle as investigated by electron microscopy studies and put this into perspective in terms of the architectural, topological, and dynamic organization of skeletal muscle fibers. In summary, the distribution of glycogen within skeletal muscle fibers has been shown to depend on the fiber phenotype, individual training status, short-term immobilization, and exercise and to influence both muscle contractility and fatigability. Based on all these data, the available literature strongly indicates that the subcellular localization of glycogen has to be taken into consideration to fully understand and appreciate the role and regulation of glycogen metabolism and signaling in skeletal muscle. A full understanding of these phenomena may prove vital in elucidating the mechanisms that integrate basic cellular events with changing glycogen content.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/apnm-2012-0184DOI Listing
February 2013

Biomarkers of mitochondrial content in skeletal muscle of healthy young human subjects.

J Physiol 2012 Jul 14;590(14):3349-60. Epub 2012 May 14.

Center for Healthy Aging-Department of Biomedical Sciences, Copenhagen University, Blegdamsvej 3b, DK-2200 Copenhagen, Denmark.

Skeletal muscle mitochondrial content varies extensively between human subjects. Biochemical measures of mitochondrial proteins, enzyme activities and lipids are often used as markers of mitochondrial content and muscle oxidative capacity (OXPHOS). The purpose of this study was to determine how closely associated these commonly used biochemical measures are to muscle mitochondrial content and OXPHOS. Sixteen young healthy male subjects were recruited for this study. Subjects completed a graded exercise test to determine maximal oxygen uptake (VO2peak) and muscle biopsies were obtained from the vastus lateralis. Mitochondrial content was determined using transmission electron microscopy imaging and OXPHOS was determined as the maximal coupled respiration in permeabilized fibres. Biomarkers of interest were citrate synthase (CS) activity, cardiolipin content, mitochondrial DNA content (mtDNA), complex I–V protein content, and complex I–IV activity. Spearman correlation coefficient tests and Lin's concordance tests were applied to assess the absolute and relative association between the markers and mitochondrial content or OXPHOS. Subjects had a large range of VO2peak (range 29.9–71.6ml min−1 kg−1) and mitochondrial content (4–15% of cell volume).Cardiolipin content showed the strongest association with mitochondrial content followed by CS and complex I activities. mtDNA was not related to mitochondrial content. Complex IV activity showed the strongest association with muscle oxidative capacity followed by complex II activity.We conclude that cardiolipin content, and CS and complex I activities are the biomarkers that exhibit the strongest association with mitochondrial content, while complex IV activity is strongly associated with OXPHOS capacity in human skeletal muscle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1113/jphysiol.2012.230185DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3459047PMC
July 2012

Skeletal muscle glycogen content and particle size of distinct subcellular localizations in the recovery period after a high-level soccer match.

Eur J Appl Physiol 2012 Oct 10;112(10):3559-67. Epub 2012 Feb 10.

Institute of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, 5230 Odense M, Denmark.

Whole muscle glycogen levels remain low for a prolonged period following a soccer match. The present study was conducted to investigate how this relates to glycogen content and particle size in distinct subcellular localizations. Seven high-level male soccer players had a vastus lateralis muscle biopsy collected immediately after and 24, 48, 72 and 120 h after a competitive soccer match. Transmission electron microscopy was used to estimate the subcellular distribution of glycogen and individual particle size. During the first day of recovery, glycogen content increased by ~60% in all subcellular localizations, but during the subsequent second day of recovery glycogen content located within the myofibrils (Intramyofibrillar glycogen, a minor deposition constituting 10-15% of total glycogen) did not increase further compared with an increase in subsarcolemmal glycogen (-7 vs. +25%, respectively, P = 0.047). Conversely, from the second to the fifth day of recovery, glycogen content increased (53%) within the myofibrils compared to no change in subsarcolemmal or intermyofibrillar glycogen (P < 0.005). Independent of location, increment in particle size preceded increment in number of particles. Intriguingly, average particle size decreased; however, in the period from 3 to 5 days after the match. These findings suggest that glycogen storage in skeletal muscle is influenced by subcellular localization-specific mechanisms, which account for an increase in number of glycogen particles located within the myofibrils in the period from 2 to 5 days after the soccer match.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00421-012-2341-9DOI Listing
October 2012

Human skeletal muscle glycogen utilization in exhaustive exercise: role of subcellular localization and fibre type.

J Physiol 2011 Jun 4;589(Pt 11):2871-85. Epub 2011 Apr 4.

Institute of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark.

Although glycogen is known to be heterogeneously distributed within skeletal muscle cells, there is presently little information available about the role of fibre types, utilization and resynthesis during and after exercise with respect to glycogen localization. Here, we tested the hypothesis that utilization of glycogen with different subcellular localizations during exhaustive arm and leg exercise differs and examined the influence of fibre type and carbohydrate availability on its subsequent resynthesis. When 10 elite endurance athletes (22 ± 1 years, VO2 max = 68 ± 5 ml kg-1 min-1, mean ± SD) performed one hour of exhaustive arm and leg exercise, transmission electron microscopy revealed more pronounced depletion of intramyofibrillar than of intermyofibrillar and subsarcolemmal glycogen. This phenomenon was the same for type I and II fibres, although at rest prior to exercise, the former contained more intramyofibrillar and subsarcolemmal glycogen than the latter. In highly glycogen-depleted fibres, the remaining small intermyofibrillar and subsarcolemmal glycogen particles were often found to cluster in groupings. In the recovery period, when the athletes received either a carbohydrate-rich meal or only water the impaired resynthesis of glycogen with water alone was associated primarily with intramyofibrillar glycogen. In conclusion, after prolonged high-intensity exercise the depletion of glycogen is dependent on subcellular localization. In addition, the localization of glycogen appears to be influenced by fibre type prior to exercise, as well as carbohydrate availability during the subsequent period of recovery. These findings provide insight into the significance of fibre type-specific compartmentalization of glycogen metabolism in skeletal muscle during exercise and subsequent recovery. .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1113/jphysiol.2010.204487DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3112561PMC
June 2011

Maximal voluntary contraction force, SR function and glycogen resynthesis during the first 72 h after a high-level competitive soccer game.

Eur J Appl Physiol 2011 Dec 30;111(12):2987-95. Epub 2011 Mar 30.

Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, Section of Human Physiology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

The aim of this study was to examine maximal voluntary knee-extensor contraction force (MVC force), sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) function and muscle glycogen levels in the days after a high-level soccer game when players ingested an optimised diet. Seven high-level male soccer players had a vastus lateralis muscle biopsy and a blood sample collected in a control situation and at 0, 24, 48 and 72 h after a competitive soccer game. MVC force, SR function, muscle glycogen, muscle soreness and plasma myoglobin were measured. MVC force sustained over 1 s was 11 and 10% lower (P < 0.05) after 0 and 24 h, respectively, compared with control. The rate of SR Ca(2+) uptake at 800 nM [Ca(2+)](free) was lower (P < 0.05) after 0 h (2.5 μmol Ca(2+) g prot(-1) min(-1)) than for all other time points (24 h: 5.1 μmol Ca(2+) g prot(-1) min(-1)). However, SR Ca(2+) release rate was not affected. Plasma myoglobin was sixfold higher (P < 0.05) immediately after the game, but normalised 24 h after the game. Quadriceps muscle soreness (0-10 VAS-scale) was higher (P < 0.05) after 0 h (3.6), 24 h (1.8), 48 h (1.1) and 72 h (1.4) compared with control (0.1). Muscle glycogen was 57 and 27% lower (P < 0.001) 0 and 24 h after the game compared with control (193 and 328 vs. 449 mmol kg d w(-1)). In conclusion, maximal voluntary contraction force and SR Ca(2+) uptake were impaired and muscle soreness was elevated after a high-level soccer game, with faster recovery of SR function in comparison with MVC force, soreness and muscle glycogen.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00421-011-1919-yDOI Listing
December 2011

Role of glycogen availability in sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ kinetics in human skeletal muscle.

J Physiol 2011 Feb 6;589(Pt 3):711-25. Epub 2010 Dec 6.

Institute of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense M, Denmark.

Glucose is stored as glycogen in skeletal muscle. The importance of glycogen as a fuel during exercise has been recognized since the 1960s; however, little is known about the precise mechanism that relates skeletal muscle glycogen to muscle fatigue. We show that low muscle glycogen is associated with an impairment of muscle ability to release Ca(2+), which is an important signal in the muscle activation. Thus, depletion of glycogen during prolonged, exhausting exercise may contribute to muscle fatigue by causing decreased Ca(2+) release inside the muscle. These data provide indications of a signal that links energy utilization, i.e. muscle contraction, with the energy content in the muscle, thereby inhibiting a detrimental depletion of the muscle energy store.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1113/jphysiol.2010.195982DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3055553PMC
February 2011

Subcellular localization-dependent decrements in skeletal muscle glycogen and mitochondria content following short-term disuse in young and old men.

Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 2010 Dec 21;299(6):E1053-60. Epub 2010 Sep 21.

Univ. of Southern Denmark, Odense M, Denmark.

Previous studies have shown that skeletal muscle glycogen and mitochondria are distributed in distinct subcellular localizations, but the role and regulation of these subcellular localizations are unclear. In the present study, we used transmission electron microscopy to investigate the effect of disuse and aging on human skeletal muscle glycogen and mitochondria content in subsarcolemmal (SS), intermyofibrillar (IMF), and intramyofibrillar (intra) localizations. Five young (∼23 yr) and five old (∼66 yr) recreationally active men had their quadriceps muscle immobilized for 2 wk by whole leg casting. Biopsies were obtained from m. vastus lateralis before and after the immobilization period. Immobilization induced a decrement of intra glycogen content by 54% (P < 0.001) in both age groups and in two ultrastructurally distinct fiber types, whereas the content of IMF and SS glycogen remained unchanged. A localization-dependent decrease (P = 0.03) in mitochondria content following immobilization was found in both age groups, where SS mitochondria decreased by 33% (P = 0.02), superficial IMF mitochondria decreased by 20% (P = 0.05), and central IMF mitochondria remained unchanged. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate a localization-dependent adaptation to immobilization in glycogen and mitochondria content of skeletal muscles of both young and old individuals. Specifically, this suggests that short-term disuse preferentially affects glycogen particles located inside the myofibrils and that mitochondria volume plasticity can be dependent on the distance to the fiber border.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpendo.00324.2010DOI Listing
December 2010
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