Steady exercise removes VO(2max) difference between mitochondrial genomic variants

Mitochondrion. 2009 Sep;9(5):326-30. doi: 10.1016/j.mito.2009.04.007. Epub 2009 May 8.


It has been clearly established that mitochondrial variants, among other potential factors, influence on VO(2max). With this study we sought to determine whether this genetic predisposition could be modified by steady exercise. Mitochondrial genetic variants were determined in 70 healthy controls (CON) and in 77 athletes who trained regularly (50 cyclists, aerobic training (AER), and 27 runners of 400m, anaerobic training (NoAER)). All of them were male Spanish Caucasian individuals. A maximum graded exercise test (GXT) in cycle-ergometer was performed to determine VO(2max) (mL kg(-1)min(-1)). Our results confirmed that, in CON, VO(2max) (P=0.007) was higher in Non-J than J individuals. Furthermore, we found that AER and NoAER showed, as it could be expected, higher VO(2max) than CON, but not differences between mitochondrial variants have been found. According with these findings, the influence of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variants on VO(2max) has been confirmed, and a new conclusion has arisen: the steady exercise is able to remove this influence. The interest of these promising findings in muscular performance should be further explored, in particular, the understanding of potential applications in sport training and in muscle pathological syndromes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Haplotypes
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mitochondria / genetics*
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Oxygen Consumption*
  • Spain
  • White People
  • Young Adult