High intensity exercise training-induced metabolic alterations in respiratory muscles. Academic Article uri icon


  • Limited information exists concerning the effects of high intensity interval exercise training (HIET) on metabolic alterations in both inspiratory and expiratory muscles. To test the hypothesis that HIET will improve the oxidative capacity of the diaphragm and major expiratory muscles, we examined Krebs cycle and beta oxidation enzyme activities in the diaphragm and three groups of expiratory (abdominal) muscles in rats subjected to 12 weeks (5 days.wk-1) of treadmill exercise. Two groups of female Sprague-Dawley rats (age ca 120 days) were studied: (1) HIET group (n = 10; animals performed 6 x ca 5-min running intervals.day-1 at ca 90-95% VO2max); (2) sedentary control group (n = 7). When compared to controls, HIET resulted in significantly elevated (P less than 0.05) activities of 3-hydroxy-acyl-Co-A dehydrogenase (HADH) and citrate synthase (CS) in the costal diaphragm, rectus abdominus, external obliques, and the plantaris muscles. In contrast, training did not increase (P greater than 0.05) the activities of CS or HADH in the crural diaphragm or the internal obliques/transversus abdominus muscles. By comparison, the training-induced increases in oxidative capacity (e.g., CS activity) in the costal diaphragm, rectus abdominus, and external obliques were relatively small (ca 23, 10, 12%, respectively) when contrasted to the exercise-induced increase in CS activity in the plantaris muscle (ca 47%). We conclude that HIET results in small but significant improvements in the oxidative and beta oxidation capacities of the costal diaphragm and at least two abdominal expiratory muscles.

published proceedings

  • Respir Physiol

author list (cited authors)

  • Powers, S. K., Grinton, S., Lawler, J., Criswell, D., & Dodd, S.

citation count

  • 28

complete list of authors

  • Powers, SK||Grinton, S||Lawler, J||Criswell, D||Dodd, S

publication date

  • January 1992