Improvements in skeletal muscle strength and cardiac function induced by resveratrol during exercise training contribute to enhanced exercise performance in rats
Article first published online: 31 MAY 2012
© 2012 The Authors. The Journal of Physiology © 2012 The Physiological Society
The Journal of Physiology
Volume 590, Issue 11, pages 2783–2799, June 2012
How to Cite
Dolinsky, V. W., Jones, K. E., Sidhu, R. S., Haykowsky, M., Czubryt, M. P., Gordon, T. and Dyck, J. R. B. (2012), Improvements in skeletal muscle strength and cardiac function induced by resveratrol during exercise training contribute to enhanced exercise performance in rats. The Journal of Physiology, 590: 2783–2799. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2012.230490
- Issue published online: 31 MAY 2012
- Article first published online: 31 MAY 2012
- Accepted manuscript online: 9 APR 2012 06:46AM EST
- (Received 13 February 2012; accepted after revision 2 April 2012; first published online 2 April 2012)
- • Resveratrol, an antioxidant found in red wine, has beneficial effects on cardiac and skeletal muscle function, similar to the effects of endurance exercise training.
- • Combining resveratrol supplementation with exercise training augments the beneficial effects of exercise alone.
- • We show that endurance capacity is enhanced in rats whose diet includes resveratrol during a 12 week endurance-training programme.
- • Increased endurance was associated with increases in skeletal muscle force, cardiac function, and oxidative metabolism.
- • Our results establish that resveratrol is an effective ergogenic aid that enhances exercise performance over exercise alone.
Abstract Exercise training (ET) improves endurance capacity by increasing both skeletal muscle mitochondrial number and function, as well as contributing to favourable cardiac remodelling. Interestingly, some of the benefits of regular exercise can also be mimicked by the naturally occurring polyphenol, resveratrol (RESV). However, it is not known whether RESV enhances physiological adaptations to ET. To investigate this, male Wistar rats were randomly assigned to a control chow diet or a chow diet that contained RESV (4 g kg−1 of diet) and subsequently subjected to a programme of progressive treadmill running for 12 weeks. ET-induced improvements in exercise performance were enhanced by 21% (P < 0.001) by the addition of RESV to the diet. In soleus muscle, ET + RESV increased both the twitch (1.8-fold; P < 0.05) and tetanic (1.2-fold; P < 0.05) forces generated during isometric contraction, compared to ET alone. In vivo echocardiography demonstrated that ET + RESV also increased the resting left ventricular ejection fraction by 10% (P < 0.05), and reduced left ventricular wall stress compared to ET alone. These functional changes were accompanied by increased cardiac fatty acid oxidation (1.2-fold; P < 0.05) and favourable changes in cardiac gene expression and signal transduction pathways that optimized the utilization of fatty acids in ET + RESV compared to ET alone. Overall, our findings provide evidence that the capacity for fatty acid oxidation is augmented by the addition of RESV to the diet during ET, and that this may contribute to the improved physical performance of rats following ET.