Aerobic exercise has a positive impact on animals by enhancing skeletal muscle function and locomotor performance. Responses of skeletal muscle to exercise involve changes in energy metabolism, calcium handling, and the composition of contractile protein isoforms, which together influence contractile properties. Histone deacetylases (HDAC) can cause short-term changes in gene expression, and may thereby mediate plasticity in contractile properties of skeletal muscle in response to exercise. The aim of this project was to determine (in zebrafish, Danio rerio) the traits that mediate inter-individual differences in sustained and sprint performance, and to determine whether inhibiting class I and II HDACs mediates exercise-induced changes in these traits. High sustained performers had greater aerobic metabolic capacity (citrate synthase [CS] activity), calcium handling capacity (sarco/endoplasmic reticulum ATPase [SERCA] activity), and slow contractile protein concentration (slow myosin heavy chain [MHC]) compared to low performers. High sprint performers had lower CS activity and slow MHC concentrations compared to low performers, but there were no significant differences in lactate dehydrogenase activity or fast MHC concentrations. Four weeks of aerobic exercise training increased sustained performance, CS activity, SERCA activity, and slow MHC concentration. Inhibiting class I and II HDACs increased slow MHC concentration in untrained fish but not in trained fish. However, inhibiting HDACs reduced SERCA activity, which was paralleled by a reduction in sustained and sprint performance. The regulation of muscle phenotypes by HDACs could be a mechanism underlying the adaptation of locomotor performance to different environmental conditions, and may therefore be of therapeutic and ecological significance.
- Copyright © 2017, American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology