Adaptation of mitochondrial ATP production in human skeletal muscle to endurance training and detraining

J Appl Physiol (1985). 1992 Nov;73(5):2004-10. doi: 10.1152/jappl.1992.73.5.2004.


The adaptation of mitochondrial ATP production rate (MAPR) to training and detraining was evaluated in nine healthy men. Muscle samples (approximately 60 mg) were obtained before and after 6 wk of endurance training and after 3 wk of detraining. MAPR was measured in isolated mitochondria by a bioluminometric method. In addition, the activities of mitochondrial and glycolytic enzymes were determined in skeletal muscle. In response to training, MAPR increased by 70%, with a substrate combination of pyruvate + palmitoyl-L-carnitine + alpha-ketoglutarate + malate, by 50% with only pyruvate + malate, and by 92% with palmitoyl-L-carnitine + malate. With detraining MAPR decreased by 12-28% from the posttraining rate (although not significantly for all substrates). No differences were found when MAPR was related to the protein content in the mitochondrial fraction. The largest increase in mitochondrial enzyme activities induced by training was observed for cytochrome-c oxidase (78%), whereas succinate cytochrome c reductase showed only an 18% increase. The activity of citrate synthase increased by 40% and of glutamate dehydrogenase by 45%. Corresponding changes in maximal O2 uptake were a 9.6% increase by training and a 6.0% reversion after detraining. In conclusion, both MAPR and mitochondrial enzyme activities are shown to increase with endurance training and to decrease with detraining.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / biosynthesis*
  • Adult
  • Exercise Test
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lactates / blood
  • Lactic Acid
  • Male
  • Mitochondria, Muscle / enzymology
  • Mitochondria, Muscle / metabolism*
  • Muscle Proteins / metabolism
  • Oxidative Phosphorylation
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Physical Education and Training*
  • Physical Endurance / physiology*


  • Lactates
  • Muscle Proteins
  • Lactic Acid
  • Adenosine Triphosphate