Increased liver glycogen levels enhance exercise capacity in mice

Iliana López-Soldado, Joan J. Guinovart, Jordi Duran

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Muscle glycogen depletion has been proposed as one of the main causes of fatigue during exercise. However, few studies have addressed the contribution of liver glycogen to exercise performance. Using a low-intensity running protocol, here, we analyzed exercise capacity in mice overexpressing protein targeting to glycogen (PTG) specifically in the liver (PTGOE mice), which show a high concentration of glycogen in this organ. PTGOE mice showed improved exercise capacity, as determined by the distance covered and time ran in an extenuating endurance exercise, compared with control mice. Moreover, fasting decreased exercise capacity in control mice but not in PTGOE mice. After exercise, liver glycogen stores were totally depleted in control mice, but PTGOE mice maintained significant glycogen levels even in fasting conditions. In addition, PTGOE mice displayed an increased hepatic energy state after exercise compared with control mice. Exercise caused a reduction in the blood glucose concentration in control mice that was less pronounced in PTGOE mice. No changes were found in the levels of blood lactate, plasma free fatty acids, or β-hydroxybutyrate. Plasma glucagon was elevated after exercise in control mice, but not in PTGOE mice. Exercise-induced changes in skeletal muscle were similar in both genotypes. These results identify hepatic glycogen as a key regulator of endurance capacity in mice, an effect that may be exerted through the maintenance of blood glucose levels.

Idioma originalAnglès
Número d’article100976
RevistaJournal of Biological Chemistry
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 1 d’ag. 2021
Publicat externament


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