Vol. 122, No. 1 (Supplement) 2017
Supplement abstract

Physical activity modify skeletal muscle fiber types in an animal model of metabolic syndrome

Published 2017-10-06


  • Exercise resistance,
  • metabolic dysfunction

How to Cite

Sarchielli, E., Guarnieri, G., Filippi, S., Comeglio, P., Vannelli, G., & Morelli, A. (2017). Physical activity modify skeletal muscle fiber types in an animal model of metabolic syndrome. Italian Journal of Anatomy and Embryology, 122(1), 193. Retrieved from https://oajournals.fupress.net/index.php/ijae/article/view/2077


Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) is a cluster of clinical conditions, associated to an increased cardiovascular risk, as well as to hypogonadism in males. Lifestyle modification (including physical exercise, PhyEx) may be beneficial for the condition. Skeletal muscles (SkM) are some of the most highly plastic tissues, able of remodeling in response to use, disuse and disease. In particular, transformations of fiber type may occur in response to physiological milieu to induce functional adaptations. This study is aimed at investigating in experimental MetS, high fat diet-induced in male rabbits [1], the effect of PhyEx on hormonal and metabolic parameters, as well as on SkM composition. Control and MetS rabbits were exercise-trained to run on a treadmill for 12 weeks. Quadriceps femoris samples were collected for histomorphological and gene expression analyses. We found that exercise resistance was significantly reduced in MetS rabbits, as demonstrated by the significant reduction of both running time and distance, compared to control group. MetS rabbits also exhibited the lowest quadriceps mass. Fiber typing by PAS-staining showed a pronounced shift from slower type I to faster type II fibers in MetS group in response to PhysEx, suggesting that MetS condition addressed SkM function towards anaerobic metabolism. Accordingly, extracellular lactate levels were significantly increased and mitochondrial respiration-related genes reduced in SkM of MetS rabbits respect to controls. Interestingly, PhyEx significantly counteracted MetS-related testosterone deficiency and hypercholesterolemia. In conclusion, our results indicate that dysmetabolic milieu induces a reduced proportion of fatigue-resistant type I fibers in response to PhysEx, which however resulted beneficial for MetS condition.