Mitochondrial DNA Damage Following Isolated Muscle Exercise: A Preliminary Investigation Into HO-1 Gene Expression

Gareth W. Davison, Giuseppe De Vito, Ciara Hughes, George Burke, Jane McEneny, David Brown, Conor McClean, Mark Fogarty

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstractpeer-review


PURPOSE: This preliminary investigation was designed to test the hypothesis that high intensity single-leg exercise can cause extensive cell DNA damage, which subsequently may affect the expression of the HO-1 gene. METHODS: Six (n=6) apparently healthy male participants (age 27 + 7 yrs, stature 174 + 12 cm, body mass 79 + 4 kg and BMI 24 + 4 kg/m2) completed 100 isolated and continuous maximal concentric contractions (minimum force = 200 N, speed of contraction = 60°/sec) of the rectus femoris muscle. Using a spring-loaded and reusable Magnum biopsy gun with a 16-gauge core disposable biopsy needle, skeletal muscle micro biopsy tissue samples were extracted at rest and following exercise. mRNA gene expression was determined via two-step quantitative real-time PCR using GAPDH as a reference gene. RESULTS: The average muscle force production was 379 + 179 N. High intensity exercise increased mitochondrial 8-OHdG concentration (P < 0.05 vs. rest) with a concomitant decrease in total antioxidant capacity (P < 0.05 vs. rest). Exercise also increased protein oxidation as quantified by protein carbonyl concentration (P < 0.05 vs. rest). HO-1 expression increased (> 2-fold change vs. rest) following exercise, and it is postulated that this change was not significant due to low subject numbers (P > 0.05). CONCLUSION: These preliminary findings tentatively suggest that maximal concentric muscle contractions can cause intracellular DNA damage with no apparent disruption to the expression of the antioxidant stress protein HO-1. Moreover, it is likely that cell oxidant stress is required to activate the signal transduction cascade related to the expression of HO-1. A large-scale study incorporating a greater subject number is warranted to fully elucidate this relationship.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299
Number of pages1
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number5S
Publication statusPublished - May 2014


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