Pterostilbene Enhances Endurance Capacity via Promoting Skeletal Muscle Adaptations to Exercise Training in Rats

Molecules. 2020 Jan 2;25(1):186. doi: 10.3390/molecules25010186.


It has been demonstrated that skeletal muscle adaptions, including muscle fibers transition, angiogenesis, and mitochondrial biogenesis are involved in the regular exercise-induced improvement of endurance capacity and metabolic status. Herein, we investigated the effects of pterostilbene (PST) supplementation on skeletal muscle adaptations to exercise training in rats. Six-week-old male Sprague Dawley rats were randomly divided into a sedentary control group (Sed), an exercise training group (Ex), and exercise training combined with 50 mg/kg PST (Ex + PST) treatment group. After 4 weeks of intervention, an exhaustive running test was performed, and muscle fiber type transformation, angiogenesis, and mitochondrial content in the soleus muscle were measured. Additionally, the effects of PST on muscle fiber transformation, paracrine regulation of angiogenesis, and mitochondrial function were tested in vitro using C2C12 myotubes. In vivo study showed that exercise training resulted in significant increases in time-to-exhaustion, the proportion of slow-twitch fibers, muscular angiogenesis, and mitochondrial biogenesis in rats, and these effects induced by exercise training could be augmented by PST supplementation. Moreover, the in vitro study showed that PST treatment remarkably promoted slow-twitch fibers formation, angiogenic factor expression, and mitochondrial function in C2C12 myotubes. Collectively, our results suggest that PST promotes skeletal muscle adaptations to exercise training thereby enhancing the endurance capacity.

Keywords: angiogenesis; endurance capacity; muscle fiber type; pterostilbene.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Male
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / drug effects*
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Muscle Fibers, Slow-Twitch / drug effects*
  • Muscle Fibers, Slow-Twitch / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic / drug effects*
  • Physical Conditioning, Animal / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Stilbenes / therapeutic use*


  • Stilbenes
  • pterostilbene