Endurance-trained and untrained skeletal muscle bioenergetics observed with magnetic resonance spectroscopy

B M Guthrie, S P Frostick, J Goodman, D J Mikulis, M J Plyley, K W Marshall
Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology, Revue Canadienne de Physiologie Appliquée 1996, 21 (4): 251-63
Resting and submaximal isometric exercise 31P magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) was carried out on 7 endurance-trained males (26.0 +/- 3 yrs) and 7 sedentary males (27.0 +/- 4 yrs). Spectral analysis provided peak areas of phosphocreatine (PCr), inorganic phosphate (Pi), adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and the chemical shift of Pi relative to PCr. The ratio of PCr/Pi was moderately lower during rest (preexercise p = .13, postexercise p = .18), and significantly higher during exercise (p < .05) in the trained subjects. Intracellular pH patterns were the same for both groups; a transient alkalosis was observed at the onset of exercise with a return to resting levels after 2 min. Differences suggest improved ATP resynthesis rate in the trained subjects during exercise. Intracellular pH changes can be attributed to the utilization of hydrogen ions that accompany PCr hydrolysis during work. The findings are congruent with previous reports indicating a superior oxidative capacity in trained skeletal muscle.

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