Trainability is important in elite sport and in recreational physical activity, and the wide range for response to training is largely dependent on genotype. In this study, we compare a newly developed rat model system selectively bred for low and high gain in running distance from aerobic training to test whether genetic segregation for trainability associates with differences in factors associated with mitochondrial biogenesis. Low response trainer (LRT) and high response trainer (HRT) rats from generation 11 of artificial selection were trained five times a week, 30 min per day for 3 months at 70 % VO2max to study the mitochondrial molecular background of trainability. As expected, we found significant differential for the gain in running distance between LRT and HRT groups as a result of training. However, the changes in VO2max, COX-4, redox homeostasis associated markers (reactive oxygen species (ROS)), silent mating-type information regulation 2 homolog (SIRT1), NAD+/NADH ratio, proteasome (R2 subunit), and mitochondrial network related proteins such as mitochondrial fission protein 1 (Fis1) and mitochondrial fusion protein (Mfn1) suggest that these markers are not strongly involved in the differences in trainability between LRT and HRT. On the other hand, according to our results, we discovered that differences in basal activity of AMP-activated protein kinase alpha (AMPKα) and differential changes in aerobic exercise-induced responses of citrate synthase, carbonylated protein, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator-1α (PGC1-α), nuclear respiratory factor 1 (NRF1), mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM), and Lon protease limit trainability between these selected lines. From this, we conclude that mitochondrial biogenesis-associated factors adapt differently to aerobic exercise training in training sensitive and training resistant rats.
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