The effects of short-term sprint training on MCT expression in moderately endurance-trained runners

Eur J Appl Physiol. 2006 Apr;96(6):636-43. doi: 10.1007/s00421-005-0100-x. Epub 2006 Jan 12.


The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of short-term sprint training on transient changes in monocarboxylate lactate transporter 1 (MCT1) and MCT4 protein and mRNA content. Seven moderately endurance-trained runners (mean +/- SE; age 27.7+/-2.9 years, body mass 81.1+/-5.9 kg, .VO(2max) 58.1+/-2.0 ml kg(-1) min(-1)) completed a .VO(2max) and a supramaximal running test to exhaustion (RTE) before and after a 6-week period of sprint training. The sprint training was progressive and consisted of 18 sessions of near maximal short duration (5-15 s) sprints to compliment the athlete's endurance training. Prior to the training period there was a significant (P<0.05) increase in MCT1, but not MCT4 protein, 2 h after the RTE. This occurred without any change in corresponding mRNA levels. After the training period, there was a significant increase in MCT1 protein but no significant change in the MCT4 isoform. Both MCT1 and MCT4 mRNA was significantly lower at rest and 2 h post-RTE after the completion of the training period. After the training period, there was a significant increase in the time to exhaustion and distance covered during the RTE. This study demonstrates that sprint training of this length and type results in an upregulation of MCT1 protein, but not MCT4 content. Additionally, this study shows conflicting adaptations in MCT1 and MCT4 protein and mRNA levels following training, which may indicate post-transcriptional regulation of MCT expression in human muscle.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Mitochondria, Muscle
  • Monocarboxylic Acid Transporters / metabolism*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / enzymology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Physical Endurance*
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • Running*


  • Monocarboxylic Acid Transporters
  • RNA, Messenger