Effect of prior chronic aerobic exercise on overload-induced skeletal muscle hypertrophy in mice

Physiol Res. 2018 Nov 23;67(5):765-775. doi: 10.33549/physiolres.933786.


This study aimed to examine how regular aerobic training can affect the muscle hypertrophy induced by overloading. Male C57BL/6J mice were randomly divided into three groups: rest group, low-intensity aerobic exercise group, and high-intensity aerobic exercise group. Mice in the exercise groups were assigned to run at a speed of 10 m/min (low-intensity) or 25 m/min (high-intensity) for 30 min/day, five days/week, for four weeks. Then, the right hind leg gastrocnemius muscles were surgically removed to overload the plantaris and soleus muscles, while the left hind leg was subjected to a sham-operation. Both the plantaris and soleus muscles grew larger in the overloaded legs than those in the sham-operated legs. Muscle growth increased in the plantaris muscles in the low-intensity exercise group compared to that in the rest or high-intensity exercise groups at one and two weeks after overloading. This enhancement was not observed in the soleus muscles. Consistently, we observed changes in the expression of proteins involved in anabolic intracellular signaling, including Akt, mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR), and p70S6K, in the plantaris muscles. Our data showed for the first time that chronic low-intensity aerobic exercise precipitates overload-induced muscle growth.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Exercise Test / methods*
  • Hypertrophy / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Muscle Proteins / metabolism
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Physical Conditioning, Animal / methods
  • Physical Conditioning, Animal / physiology*


  • Muscle Proteins