Mitochondrial DNA lesions and copy number are strain dependent in endurance-trained mice. Academic Article uri icon


  • In this pilot work, we selected two inbred strains that respond well to endurance training (ET) (FVB/NJ, and SJL/J strains), and two strains that respond poorly (BALB/cByJ and NZW/LacJ), to determine the effect of a standardized ET treadmill program on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA (nucDNA) integrity, and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number. DNA was isolated from plantaris muscles (n = 37) and a gene-specific quantitative PCR-based assay was used to measure DNA lesions and mtDNA copy number. Mean mtDNA lesions were not different within strains in the sedentary or exercise-trained states. However, mtDNA lesions were significantly higher in trained low-responding NZW/LacJ mice (0.24 ± 0.06 mtDNA lesions/10 Kb) compared to high-responding strains (mtDNA lesions/10 Kb: FVB/NJ = 0.11 ± 0.01, p = .049; SJL/J = 0.04 ± 0.02; p = .003). ET did not alter mean mtDNA copy numbers for any strain, although both sedentary and trained FVB/NJ mice had significantly higher mtDNA copies (99,890 ± 4,884 mtDNA copies) compared to low-responding strains (mtDNA copies: BALB/cByJ = 69,744 ± 4,675; NZW/LacJ = 65,687 ± 5,180; p < .001). ET did not change nucDNA lesions for any strain, however, SJL/J had the lowest mean nucDNA lesions (3.5 ± 0.14 nucDNA lesions/6.5 Kb) compared to all other strains (nucDNA lesions/6.5 Kb: FVB/NJ = 4.4 ± 0.11; BALB/cByJ = 4.7 ± 0.09; NZW/LacJ = 4.4 ± 0.11; p < .0001). Our results demonstrate strain differences in plantaris muscle mtDNA lesions in ET mice and, independent of condition, differences in mean mtDNA copy and nucDNA lesions between strains.

published proceedings

  • Physiol Rep

author list (cited authors)

  • Vellers, H. L., Massett, M. P., Avila, J. J., Kim, S. K., Marzec, J. M., Santos, J. H., Lightfoot, J. T., & Kleeberger, S. R.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Vellers, Heather L||Massett, Michael P||Avila, Josh J||Kim, Seung Kyum||Marzec, Jacqui M||Santos, Janine H||Lightfoot, J Timothy||Kleeberger, Steven R

publication date

  • November 2020