Improvement of the physical performance is associated with activation of NO/PGC-1α/mtTFA signaling pathway and increased protein expressions of electron transport chain in gastrocnemius muscle from rats supplemented with l-arginine

Carmem Peres Valgas Da Silva, Maria Andréia Delbin, Paolo G. La Guardia, Carolina Soares Moura, Ana Paula Couto Davel, Fernanda Bruschi Priviero, Angelina Zanesco

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2 Scopus citations


Aim To examine the influence of l-arginine supplementation in combination with physical training on mitochondrial biomarkers from gastrocnemius muscle and its relationship with physical performance. Main methods Male Wistar rats were divided into four groups: control sedentary (SD), sedentary supplemented with l-arginine (SDLA), trained (TR) and trained supplemented with l-arginine (TRLA). Supplementation of l-arginine was administered by gavage (62.5 mg/ml/day/rat). Physical training consisted of 60 min/day, 5 days/week, 0% grade, speed of 1.2 km/h. The study lasted 8 weeks. Skeletal muscle mitochondrial enriched fraction as well as cytoplasmic fractions were obtained for Western blotting and biochemical analyses. Protein expressions of transcriptor coactivator (PGC-1α), transcriptor factors (mtTFA), ATP synthase subunit c, cytochrome oxidase (COXIV), constitutive nitric oxide synthases (eNOS and nNOS), Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD) and manganese-SOD (Mn-SOD) were evaluated. We also assessed in plasma: lipid profile, glycemia and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels. The nitrite/nitrate (NOx-) levels were measured in both plasma and cytosol fraction of the gastrocnemius muscle. Key findings 8-week l-arginine supplementation associated with physical training was effective in promoting greater tolerance to exercise that was accompanied by up-regulation of the protein expressions of mtTFA, PGC-1α, ATP synthase subunit c, COXIV, Cu/Zn-SOD and Mn-SOD. The upstream pathway was associated with improvement of NO bioavailability, but not in NO production since no changes in nNOS or eNOS protein expressions were observed. Significance This combination would be an alternative approach for preventing cardiometabolic diseases given that in overt diseases a profound impairment in the physical performance of the patients is observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-70
Number of pages8
JournalLife sciences
Publication statusPublished - Mar 15 2015
Externally publishedYes



  • ATP synthase subunit c
  • Antioxidant enzymes
  • Mitochondria
  • Nitric oxide
  • Physical training
  • Skeletal muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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