Influence of Local Muscle Cooling on Mitochondrial-Related Gene Expression at Rest

Larry Robins, Monica Kwon, Mark L. McGlynn, Alejandro M. Rosales, Elizabeth J. Pekas, Christopher Collins, Song Young Park, Dustin R. Slivka

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2 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of localized cooling of the skeletal muscle during rest on mitochondrial related gene expression. Thermal wraps were applied to the vastus lateralis of each limb of 12 participants. One limb received a cold application (randomized) (COLD), while the other did not (RT). Wraps were removed at the 4 h time point and measurements of skin temperature, blood flow, and intramuscular temperature were taken prior to a muscle biopsy. RT-qPCR was used to measure expression of genes associated with mitochondrial development. Skin and muscle temperatures were lower in COLD than RT (p < 0.05). Femoral artery diameter was lower in COLD after 4 h (0.62 ± 0.05 cm, to 0.60 ± 0.05 cm, p = 0.018). Blood flow was not different in COLD compared to RT (259 ± 69 mL·min–1 vs. 275 ± 54 mL·min–1, p = 0.20). PGC-1α B and GABPA expression was higher in COLD relative to RT (1.57-fold, p = 0.037 and 1.34-fold, p = 0.006, respectively). There was no difference (p > 0.05) in the expression of PGC-1α, NT-PGC-1α, PGC-1α A, TFAM, ESRRα, NRF1, GABPA, VEGF, PINK1, PARK 2, or BNIP3-L. The impact of this small magnitude of difference in gene expression of PGC-1α B and GABPA without alterations in other genes are unknown. There appears to be only limited impact of local muscle cooling on the transcriptional response related to mitochondrial development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12028
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • PGC1-α
  • cold
  • mRNA
  • temperature


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