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Regular postexercise cooling enhances mitochondrial biogenesis through AMPK and p38 MAPK in human skeletal muscle


Ihsan, M and Markworth, JF and Watson, G and Choo, HC and Govus, A and Pham, T and Hickey, A and Cameron-Smith, D and Abbiss, CR, Regular postexercise cooling enhances mitochondrial biogenesis through AMPK and p38 MAPK in human skeletal muscle, AJP: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 309, (3) pp. R286-R294. ISSN 1522-1490 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2015 the American Physiological Society

DOI: doi:10.1152/ajpregu.00031.2015


This study investigated the effect of regular postexercise cold water immersion (CWI) on muscle aerobic adaptations to endurance training. Eight males performed 3 sessions/wk of endurance training for 4 wk. Following each session, subjects immersed one leg in a cold water bath (10C; COLD) for 15 min, while the contralateral leg served as a control (CON). Muscle biopsies were obtained from vastus lateralis of both CON and COLD legs prior to training and 48 h following the last training session. Samples were analyzed for signaling kinases: p38 MAPK and AMPK, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator-1α (PGC-1α), enzyme activities indicative of mitochondrial biogenesis, and protein subunits representative of respiratory chain complexes IV. Following training, subjects' peak oxygen uptake and running velocity were improved by 5.9% and 6.2%, respectively (P < 0.05). Repeated CWI resulted in higher total AMPK, phosphorylated AMPK, phosphorylated acetyl-CoA carboxylase, β-3-hydroxyacyl-CoA-dehydrogenase and the protein subunits representative of complex I and III (P < 0.05). Moreover, large effect sizes (Cohen's d > 0.8) were noted with changes in protein content of p38 (d = 1.02, P = 0.064), PGC-1α (d = 0.99, P = 0.079), and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (d = 0.93, P = 0.10) in COLD compared with CON. No differences between conditions were observed in the representative protein subunits of respiratory complexes II, IV, and V and in the activities of several mitochondrial enzymes (P > 0.05). These findings indicate that regular CWI enhances p38, AMPK, and possibly mitochondrial biogenesis.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:cold water immersion, exercise recovery, muscle oxidative adaptations, nonshivering thermogenesis, PGC-1&#945;
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Sports science and exercise
Research Field:Exercise physiology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the health sciences
UTAS Author:Watson, G (Dr Greig Watson)
ID Code:105970
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:45
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2016-01-21
Last Modified:2017-10-31

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