Skeletal muscle lipid droplets are resynthesized before being coated with perilipin proteins following prolonged exercise in elite male triathletes

Emily Faye Preston Jevons, Kasper D Gejl, Juliette A Strauss, Niels Ørtenblad, Sam O Shepherd

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Abstract

Intramuscular triglycerides (IMTG) are a key substrate during prolonged exercise, but little is known about the rate of IMTG resynthesis in the postexercise period. We investigated the hypothesis that the distribution of the lipid droplet (LD)-associated perilipin (PLIN) proteins is linked to IMTG storage following exercise. Fourteen elite male triathletes (27 ± 1 yr, 66.5 ± 1.3 mL·kg -1·min -1) completed 4 h of moderate-intensity cycling. During the first 4 h of recovery, subjects received either carbohydrate or H 2O, after which both groups received carbohydrate. Muscle biopsies collected pre- and postexercise and 4 and 24 h postexercise were analyzed using confocal immunofluorescence microscopy for fiber type-specific IMTG content and PLIN distribution with LDs. Exercise reduced IMTG content in type I fibers (-53%, P = 0.002), with no change in type IIa fibers. During the first 4 h of recovery, IMTG content increased in type I fibers ( P = 0.014), but was not increased more after 24 h, where it was similar to baseline levels in both conditions. During recovery the number of LDs labeled with PLIN2 (70%), PLIN3 (63%), and PLIN5 (62%; all P < 0.05) all increased in type I fibers. Importantly, the increase in LDs labeled with PLIN proteins only occurred at 24 h postexercise. In conclusion, IMTG resynthesis occurs rapidly in type I fibers following prolonged exercise in highly trained individuals. Furthermore, increases in IMTG content following exercise preceded an increase in the number of LDs labeled with PLIN proteins. These data, therefore, suggest that the PLIN proteins do not play a key role in postexercise IMTG resynthesis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism
Volume318
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)E357-E370
ISSN0193-1849
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1. Mar 2020

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