American journal of physiology. Regulatory, integrative and comparative physiology

High-intensity interval and endurance training are associated with divergent skeletal muscle adaptations in a rodent model of hypertension.

PMID 25855305


Skeletal muscle is extremely adaptable to a variety of metabolic challenges, as both traditional moderate-intensity endurance (ET) and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) increases oxidative potential in a coordinated manner. Although these responses have been clearly demonstrated in healthy individuals, it remains to be determined whether both produce similar responses in the context of hypertension, one of the most prevalent and costly diseases worldwide. Therefore, in the current study, we used the Dahl sodium-sensitive rat, a model of hypertension, to determine the molecular responses to 4 wk of either ET or HIIT in the red (RG) and white gastrocnemius (WG) muscles. In the RG, both ET and HIIT increased the content of electron transport chain proteins and increased succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) content in type I fibers. Although both intensities of exercise shifted fiber type in RG (increased IIA, decreased IIX), only HIIT was associated with a reduction in endothelial nitric oxide synthase and an increase in HIF-1α proteins. In the WG, both ET and HIIT increased markers of the electron transport chain; however, HIIT decreased SDH content in a fiber-specific manner. ET increased type IIA, decreased IIB fibers, and increased capillarization, while, in contrast, HIIT increased the percentage of IIB fibers, decreased capillary-to-fiber ratios, decreased endothelial nitric oxide synthase, and increased hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) protein. Altogether, these data show that unlike in healthy animals, ET and HIIT have divergent effects in the skeletal muscle of hypertensive rats. This suggests ET may be optimal at improving the oxidative capacity of skeletal muscle in animals with hypertension.