Impact of hypoxic exercise recovery on skeletal muscle glycogen and gene expression

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2 Scopus citations


Slivka, Dustin, Charles Dumke, Walter Hailes, and Brent Ruby. Impact of hypoxic exercise recovery on skeletal muscle glycogen and gene expression. High Alt Med Biol. 22:300-307, 2021. Background: The impact of altitude during recovery from exercise is largely unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine the acute gene response and muscle glycogen re-synthesis after exercise when exposed to simulated high altitude during recovery. Materials and Methods: Twelve male participants (age, 25 ± 2 years; height, 178 ± 7 cm; weight, 78.8 ± 7.8 kg; VO2peak, 4.25 ± 0.59 l/min; Wpeak 307 ± 44 W; and body fat, 13.1% ± 1.2%) completed two trials (random order), which consisted of cycling for 90 minutes in laboratory conditions and then recovering for 6 hours in laboratory conditions (975 m; normoxia) or at a high simulated altitude (5,000 m; hypoxia). Results: Skeletal muscle biopsies from the vastus lateralis were obtained before exercise, after exercise, and 6 hours after exercise for the measurement of metabolic gene expression and muscle glycogen. Muscle glycogen decreased with exercise (61% ± 13%, p < 0.05) and increased with recovery (78% ± 35%, p < 0.05) with no difference between trials (p > 0.05). Hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α, HIF-2α, optic atrophy gene 1 (OPA-1), mitofusin 2 (MFN-2), and peroxisome proliferator-Activated receptor gamma coactivator 1 alpha (PGC-1α) gene expression were suppressed after altitude exposure (p < 0.05), while mitochondrial fission 1 protein (FIS-1), phosphofructokinase (PFK), Cytochrome c oxidase (COX), and hexokinase (HK) were unaffected by altitude exposure (p > 0.05). Conclusions: High-Altitude exposure during recovery from exercise inhibits gene expression associated with mitochondrial development without affecting muscle glycogen re-synthesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-307
Number of pages8
JournalHigh Altitude Medicine and Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021


  • Altitude
  • Biopsy
  • Environmental
  • Hif-1
  • Hypoxia
  • Mrna
  • Pgc-1α


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