Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2010) 09, 170 - 175

Research article
Time Course Change of IGF1/Akt/mTOR/p70s6k Pathway Activation in Rat Gastrocnemius Muscle During Repeated Bouts of Eccentric Exercise
Eisuke Ochi1, , Naokata Ishii2, Koichi Nakazato3
Author Information
1 Meiji Gakuin University,
2 Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo,
3 Graduate School of Sport Science, Nippon Sport Science University, Japan

Eisuke Ochi
‚úČ Laboratory of Health and Sports Sciences, Center for Liberal Arts, Meiji Gakuin University 1518 Kamikurata-cho, Totsukaku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 244-8539, Japan
Email: ochi
Publish Date
Received: 06-09-2009
Accepted: 07-01-2010
Published (online): 01-06-2010
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The purpose of this study was to examine whether insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) and Akt/mTOR/p70S6K pathway activity is altered by chronic eccentric exercise in rat medial gastrocnemius muscle. Male Wistar rats (n = 24) were randomly assigned to 1 of the 2 groups: eccentric exercise (ECC) group or sham-operated control (CON) group. Rats in the ECC group were trained every second day for 10 days (5 sessions in total) or 20 days (10 sessions in total). After either 5 or 10 exercise sessions, muscle specimens were dissected and weighed. The mRNA expression of IGF-1 and its variant, mechano growth factor (MGF), was evaluated using real time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Tissue concentrations of Akt (P), mTOR (P), and p70S6K (P) were measured by using western blot analysis. The medial gastrocnemius muscle mass of the ECC group did not show any significant difference after 5 exercise sessions, whereas the muscle mass increased significantly after 10 exercise sessions with a concomitant increase in the cross-sectional area of muscle fibers (p < 0.05). The expression of IGF-1 mRNA and the tissue concentrations of Akt (P) and p70S6K (P) after 10 exercise sessions was significantly higher than those of the age-matched controls and the rats that received 5 exercise sessions. The expression of MGF mRNA in both ECC5S and ECC10S were significantly higher than that in each period-matched control (p < 0.01). The tissue concentration of mTOR (P) after 10 sessions showed a significant increase when compared with period-matched controls (p < 0.01). These results suggest that activation of the IGF-1/Akt/mTOR/p70S6K signaling pathway becomes dominant in the later phase of chronic exercise, when significant muscular hypertrophy is observed.

Key words: Signal pathway, skeletal muscle, eccentric contractions, hypertrophy

           Key Points
  • We confirmed that the rat muscular exercise model using originally-developed equipment increased the wet mass of the medial gastrocnemius muscle and cross-sectional areas of muscle fibres in 10 sessions (20 days) but not in 5 sessions (10days).
  • We clarified that the increases of muscle mass and CSA of muscle fibers were accompanied by IGF-1 mRNA expression, the phosphorylated Akt, mTOR, and p70S6K.
  • These results suggest that muscular hypertrophy in our model was achieved after 10 sessions of exercise and associated with the activation of IGF-1/Akt/mTOR/p70S6K signal pathway.
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