To examine the combined effects of 2-week endurance training and 3-week feeding with β-guanidinopropionic acid (GPA) on regional adaptability of skeletal muscle mitochondria, intermyofibrillar mitochondria (IFM) and subsarcolemmal mitochondria (SSM) were isolated from quadriceps muscles of sedentary control, trained control, sedentary GPA-fed and trained GPA-fed rats. Mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation was assessed polarographically by using pyruvate plus malate, succinate (plus rotenone), and ascorbate plus N,N,N´,N´-tetramethyl-p-phenylenediamine (TMPD) (plus antimycin) as respiratory substrates. Assays of cytochrome c oxidase and F1-ATPase activities were also performed. In sedentary control rats, IFM exhibited a higher oxidative capacity than SSM, whereas F1-ATPase activities were similar. Training increased the oxidative phosphorylation capacity of mitochondria with both pyruvate plus malate and ascorbate plus TMPD as substrates, with no differences between IFM and SSM. In contrast, the GPA diet mainly improved the overall SSM oxidative phosphorylation capacity, irrespective of the substrate used. Finally, the superimposition of training to feeding with GPA strongly increased both oxidase and enzymic activities in SSM, whereas no cumulative effects were found in IFM mitochondria. It therefore seems that endurance training and feeding with GPA, which are both known to alter the energetic status of the muscle cell, might mediate distinct biochemical adaptations in regional skeletal muscle mitochondria.

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