Enzyme levels in pools of microdissected human muscle fibres of identified type. Adaptive response to exercise

Acta Physiol Scand. 1984 Apr;120(4):505-15. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-1716.1984.tb07414.x.


Enzyme activities were determined in pools of type I (slow twitch) and II A and II B (fast twitch) fibres of the thigh muscle from individuals engaged to a high degree in physical training of an endurance character and from non-endurance-trained controls. The endurance-trained (ET) group had significantly higher activity levels of the mitochondrial enzymes citrate synthase, malate dehydrogenase, and 3-OH-acylCoA dehydrogenase both in type I (2.1X, 1.7X, 1.4X) and in type II A (2.3X, 1.8X, 1.4X) and II B fibres (2.0X, 1.5X, 1.5X) than the non-endurance-trained (NET) group. Of the glycolytic enzymes, phosphofructokinase (PFK) in type I fibres was significantly higher (1.8X) in the ET than in the NET group whereas glyceraldehydephosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) in type I fibres was similar in the two groups. In type II fibres both PFK and GAPDH levels tended to be higher in the ET group. Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) of both fibre types were not different in the two groups. Type I fibres differed significantly from type II fibres for all the six enzymes measured in both groups. However, no significant difference between fibres of types II A and II B was found. The results indicate that fibres of types I, II A and II B in human skeletal muscle all possess great adaptability with regard to their oxidative capacity. Furthermore, the data suggest that extensive endurance training may enhance the glycolytic capacity in both type I and type II fibres although the glycolytic capacity of the muscle as a whole generally is low in endurance trained subjects owing to a predominance of type I fibres. It is concluded that further studies are needed to determine whether there is a metabolic distinction between fibres of types II A and II B.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3-Hydroxyacyl CoA Dehydrogenases / metabolism
  • Adaptation, Physiological*
  • Adult
  • Citrate (si)-Synthase / metabolism
  • Citric Acid Cycle
  • Glyceraldehyde-3-Phosphate Dehydrogenases / metabolism
  • Glycolysis
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Humans
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase / metabolism
  • Malate Dehydrogenase / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mitochondria, Muscle / enzymology
  • Muscles / enzymology*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Phosphofructokinase-1 / metabolism
  • Physical Endurance
  • Physical Exertion*


  • 3-Hydroxyacyl CoA Dehydrogenases
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase
  • Malate Dehydrogenase
  • Glyceraldehyde-3-Phosphate Dehydrogenases
  • Citrate (si)-Synthase
  • Phosphofructokinase-1