L-arginine supplementation protects exercise performance and structural integrity of muscle fibers after a single bout of eccentric exercise in rats

PLoS One. 2014 Apr 15;9(4):e94448. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0094448. eCollection 2014.

Abstract

Eccentric exercise is known to disrupt sarcolemmal integrity and induce damage of skeletal muscle fibers. We hypothesized that L-arginine (L-Arg; nitric oxide synthase (NOS) substrate) supplementation prior to a single bout of eccentric exercise would diminish exercise-induced damage. In addition, we used N-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester hydrochloride (L-NAME; NOS inhibitor) to clarify the role of native NOS activity in the development of exercise-induced muscle damage. Rats were divided into four groups: non-treated control (C), downhill running with (RA) or without (R) L-Arg supplementation and downhill running with L-NAME supplementation (RN). Twenty four hours following eccentric exercise seven rats in each group were sacrificed and soleus muscles were dissected and frozen for further analysis. The remaining seven rats in each group were subjected to the exercise performance test. Our experiments showed that L-Arg supplementation prior to a single bout of eccentric exercise improved subsequent exercise performance capacity tests in RA rats when compared with R, RN and C rats by 37%, 27% and 13%, respectively. This outcome is mediated by L-Arg protection against post-exercise damage of sarcolemma (2.26- and 0.87-fold less than R and RN groups, respectively), reduced numbers of damaged muscle fibers indicated by the reduced loss of desmin content in the muscle (15% and 25% less than R and RN groups, respectively), and diminished µ-calpain mRNA up-regulation (42% and 30% less than R and RN groups, respectively). In conclusion, our study indicates that L-Arg supplementation prior to a single bout of eccentric exercise alleviates muscle fiber damage and preserves exercise performance capacity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arginine / pharmacology*
  • Desmin / metabolism
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Dystrophin / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins / genetics
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins / genetics
  • Male
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / cytology
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / drug effects*
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / physiology*
  • NG-Nitroarginine Methyl Ester / pharmacology
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / metabolism
  • Physical Conditioning, Animal*
  • Proteolysis / drug effects
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar

Substances

  • Desmin
  • Dystrophin
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Arginine
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase
  • NG-Nitroarginine Methyl Ester

Grant support

This work was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project no. 11-0400787-a) and by funds from the IUSM-NW. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.