Impact of aerobic exercise type on blood flow, muscle energy metabolism, and mitochondrial biogenesis in experimental lower extremity artery disease

Sci Rep. 2020 Aug 20;10(1):14048. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-70961-8.


Exercise training (ET) is recommended for lower extremity artery disease (LEAD) management. However, there is still little information on the hemodynamic and metabolic adaptations by skeletal muscle with ET. We examined whether hindlimb perfusion/vascularization and muscle energy metabolism are altered differently by three types of aerobic ET. ApoE-/- mice with LEAD were assigned to one of four groups for 4 weeks: sedentary (SED), forced treadmill running (FTR), voluntary wheel running (VWR), or forced swimming (FS). Voluntary exercise capacity was improved and equally as efficient with FTR and VWR, but remained unchanged with FS. Neither ischemic hindlimb perfusion and oxygenation, nor arteriolar density and mRNA expression of arteriogenic-related genes differed between groups. 18FDG PET imaging revealed no difference in the steady-state levels of phosphorylated 18FDG in ischemic and non-ischemic hindlimb muscle between groups, nor was glycogen content or mRNA and protein expression of glucose metabolism-related genes in ischemic muscle modified. mRNA (but not protein) expression of lipid metabolism-related genes was upregulated across all exercise groups, particularly by non-ischemic muscle. Markers of mitochondrial content (mitochondrial DNA content and citrate synthase activity) as well as mRNA expression of mitochondrial biogenesis-related genes in muscle were not increased with ET. Contrary to FTR and VWR, swimming was ineffective in improving voluntary exercise capacity. The underlying hindlimb hemodynamics or muscle energy metabolism are unable to explain the benefits of running exercise.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apolipoproteins E / genetics
  • Arteries / pathology*
  • Arteriosclerosis / metabolism*
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism
  • Hindlimb / blood supply*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Muscle, Skeletal / blood supply
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Organelle Biogenesis*
  • Physical Conditioning, Animal*
  • Regional Blood Flow*


  • Apolipoproteins E
  • Fatty Acids