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Muscular and Systemic Correlates of Resistance Training-Induced Muscle Hypertrophy

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      To determine relationships between post-exercise changes in systemic [testosterone, growth hormone (GH), insulin like grow factor 1 (IGF-1) and interleukin 6 (IL-6)], or intramuscular [skeletal muscle androgen receptor (AR) protein content and p70S6K phosphorylation status] factors in a moderately-sized cohort of young men exhibiting divergent resistance training-mediated muscle hypertrophy.


      Twenty three adult males completed 4 sessions•wk -1 of resistance training for 16 wk. Muscle biopsies were obtained before and after the training period and acutely 1 and 5 h after the first training session. Serum hormones and cytokines were measured immediately, 15, 30 and 60 minutes following the first and last training sessions of the study.


      Mean fiber area increased by 20% (range: -7 to 80%; P<0.001). Protein content of the AR was unchanged with training (fold change = 1.17 ± 0.61; P=0.19); however, there was a significant correlation between the changes in AR content and fiber area (r=0.60, P=0.023). Phosphorylation of p70S6K was elevated 5 hours following exercise, which was correlated with gains in mean fiber area (r=0.54, P=0.007). There was no relationship between the magnitude of the pre- or post-training exercise-induced changes in free testosterone, GH, or IGF-1 concentration and muscle fiber hypertrophy; however, the magnitude of the post exercise IL-6 response was correlated with muscle hypertrophy (r=0.48, P=0.019).


      Post-exercise increases in circulating hormones are not related to hypertrophy following training. Exercise-induced changes in IL-6 correlated with hypertrophy, but the mechanism for the role of IL-6 in hypertrophy is not known. Acute increases, in p70S6K phosphorylation and changes in muscle AR protein content correlated with muscle hypertrophy implicating intramuscular rather than systemic processes in mediating hypertrophy.

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      Most cited references 45

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        Mediation of IGF-1-induced skeletal myotube hypertrophy by PI(3)K/Akt/mTOR and PI(3)K/Akt/GSK3 pathways.

        Skeletal muscle is composed of multinucleated fibres, formed after the differentiation and fusion of myoblast precursors. Skeletal muscle atrophy and hypertrophy refer to changes in the diameter of these pre-existing muscle fibres. The prevention of atrophy would provide an obvious clinical benefit; insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) is a promising anti-atrophy agent because of its ability to promote hypertrophy. However, the signalling pathways by which IGF-1 promotes hypertrophy remain unclear, with roles suggested for both the calcineurin/NFAT (nuclear factor of activated T cells) pathway and the PtdIns-3-OH kinase (PI(3)K)/Akt pathway. Here we employ a battery of approaches to examine these pathways during the hypertrophic response of cultured myotubes to IGF-1. We report that Akt promotes hypertrophy by activating downstream signalling pathways previously implicated in activating protein synthesis: the pathways downstream of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and the pathway activated by phosphorylating and thereby inhibiting glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3). In contrast, in addition to demonstrating that calcineurin does not mediate IGF-1-induced hypertrophy, we show that IGF-1 unexpectedly acts via Akt to antagonize calcineurin signalling during myotube hypertrophy.
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          Protein supplementation augments the adaptive response of skeletal muscle to resistance-type exercise training: a meta-analysis.

          Protein ingestion after a single bout of resistance-type exercise stimulates net muscle protein accretion during acute postexercise recovery. Consequently, it is generally accepted that protein supplementation is required to maximize the adaptive response of the skeletal muscle to prolonged resistance-type exercise training. However, there is much discrepancy in the literature regarding the proposed benefits of protein supplementation during prolonged resistance-type exercise training in younger and older populations. The objective of the study was to define the efficacy of protein supplementation to augment the adaptive response of the skeletal muscle to prolonged resistance-type exercise training in younger and older populations. A systematic review of interventional evidence was performed through the use of a random-effects meta-analysis model. Data from the outcome variables fat-free mass (FFM), fat mass, type I and II muscle fiber cross-sectional area, and 1 repetition maximum (1-RM) leg press strength were collected from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) investigating the effect of dietary protein supplementation during prolonged (>6 wk) resistance-type exercise training. Data were included from 22 RCTs that included 680 subjects. Protein supplementation showed a positive effect for FFM (weighted mean difference: 0.69 kg; 95% CI: 0.47, 0.91 kg; P < 0.00001) and 1-RM leg press strength (weighted mean difference: 13.5 kg; 95% CI: 6.4, 20.7 kg; P < 0.005) compared with a placebo after prolonged resistance-type exercise training in younger and older subjects. Protein supplementation increases muscle mass and strength gains during prolonged resistance-type exercise training in both younger and older subjects.

            Author and article information

            [1 ]Exercise Metabolism Research Group, Department of Kinesiology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
            [2 ]Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
            West Virginia University School of Medicine, United States of America
            Author notes

            Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

            Conceived and designed the experiments: CJM GP SMP. Performed the experiments: CJM TACV LB GP SKB SMP. Analyzed the data: CJM TACV LB GP SKB SMP. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: CJM TACV LB GP SKB SMP. Wrote the manuscript: CJM SMP. Edited and approved final manuscript: CJM TACV LB GP SKB SMP.

            Role: Editor
            PLoS One
            PLoS ONE
            PLoS ONE
            Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
            9 October 2013
            : 8
            : 10
            24130904 3793973 PONE-D-13-22701 10.1371/journal.pone.0078636

            This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

            This work was supported by a grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to SMP. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
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