GSBS Student Publications


Muscle-specific expression of PPARgamma coactivator-1alpha improves exercise performance and increases peak oxygen uptake

UMMS Affiliation

Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

Anaerobic Threshold; Animals; Citrate (si)-Synthase; DNA, Mitochondrial; Glucose Intolerance; Glycogen; Insulin Resistance; Male; Mice; Muscle, Skeletal; Oxygen Consumption; PPAR gamma; Physical Conditioning, Animal; Pulmonary Gas Exchange; RNA, Messenger; Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction; Running; Trans-Activators


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


The induction of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator-1alpha (PGC-1alpha), a key regulator of mitochondriogenesis, is well-established under multiple physical exercise regimens, including, endurance, resistance, and sprint training. We wanted to determine if increased expression of PGC-1alpha in muscle is sufficient to improve performance during exercise in vivo. We demonstrate that muscle-specific expression of PGC-1alpha improves the performance during voluntary as well as forced exercise challenges. Additionally, PGC-1alpha transgenic mice exhibit an enhanced performance during a peak oxygen uptake exercise test, demonstrating an increased peak oxidative capacity, or whole body oxygen uptake. This increased ability to perform in multiple exercise paradigms is supported by enhanced mitochondrial function as suggested by increased mitochondrial gene expression, mitochondrial DNA, and mitochondrial enzyme activity. Thus this study demonstrates that upregulation of PGC-1alpha in muscle in vivo is sufficient to greatly improve exercise performance under various exercise paradigms as well as increase peak oxygen uptake.

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Citation: J Appl Physiol. 2008 May;104(5):1304-12. Epub 2008 Jan 31. Link to article on publisher's site

DOI of Published Version


Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal Title

Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985)

PubMed ID