Mild hyperbaric oxygen inhibits the growth-related decline in skeletal muscle oxidative capacity and prevents hyperglycemia in rats with type 2 diabetes mellitus

J Diabetes. 2018 Sep;10(9):753-763. doi: 10.1111/1753-0407.12666. Epub 2018 May 17.


Background: Humans and animals with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) exhibit low skeletal muscle oxidative capacity and impaired glucose metabolism. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of exposure to mild hyperbaric oxygen on these changes in obese rats with T2DM.

Methods: Five-week-old non-diabetic Long-Evans Tokushima Otsuka (LETO) and diabetic Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) rats were divided into normobaric (LETO-NB and OLETF-NB) and mild hyperbaric oxygen (LETO-MHO and OLETF-MHO) groups. The LETO-MHO and OLETF-MHO groups received 1266 hPa with 36% oxygen for 3 h daily for 22 weeks.

Results: Fasting and non-fasting blood glucose, HbA1c, and triglyceride levels were lower in the OLETF-MHO group than in the OLETF-NB group (P < 0.05). In the soleus muscle, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor δ/β (Pparδ/β), Pparγ, and PPARγ coactivator-1α (Pgc-1α) mRNA levels were lower in the OLETF-NB group than in all other groups (P < 0.05), whereas myogenin (Myog) and myogenic factor 5 (Myf5) mRNA levels were higher in the OLETF-MHO group than in the LETO-NB and OLETF-NB groups (P < 0.05). The soleus muscles in the OLETF-NB group contained only low-oxidative Type I fibers, whereas those in all other groups contained high-oxidative Type IIA and Type IIC fibers in addition to Type I fibers.

Conclusions: Exposure to mild hyperbaric oxygen inhibits the decline in skeletal muscle oxidative capacity and prevents the hyperglycemia associated with T2DM. Pgc-1α, Myog, and Myf5 mRNA levels appear to be closely associated with skeletal muscle oxidative capacity in rats with T2DM.

Keywords: 2型糖尿病; mild hyperbaric oxygen; myogenic regulatory factors; peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator-1α; skeletal muscle oxidative capacity; type 2 diabetes mellitus; 肌源性调节因子; 轻度高压氧; 过氧化物酶体增殖物激活型受体γ辅激活因子-1α; 骨骼肌氧化能力.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications*
  • Gene Expression
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / metabolism
  • Hyperbaric Oxygenation*
  • Hyperglycemia / blood
  • Hyperglycemia / complications
  • Hyperglycemia / therapy*
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / growth & development
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Myogenic Regulatory Factor 5 / genetics
  • Myogenin / genetics
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors / genetics
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred OLETF
  • Species Specificity


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Myogenic Regulatory Factor 5
  • Myogenin
  • Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors