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Early Time Course of Akt Phosphorylation after Endurance and Resistance Exercise


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: October 2010 - Volume 42 - Issue 10 - p 1843-1852
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181d964e4
Basic Sciences

Purpose: The aim of this study was to determine the early time course of exercise-induced signaling after divergent contractile activity associated with resistance and endurance exercise.

Methods: Sixteen male subjects were randomly assigned to either a cycling (CYC; n = 8, 60 min, 70% V˙O2peak) or resistance (REX; n = 8, 8 × 5 leg extension, 80% one-repetition maximum, 3-min recovery) exercise group. Serial muscle biopsies were obtained from vastus lateralis at rest before, immediately after, and after 15, 30, and 60 min of passive recovery to determine early signaling responses after exercise.

Results: There were comparable increases from rest in AktThr308/Ser473 and mTORSer2448 phosphorylation during the postexercise time course that peaked 30-60 min after both CYC and REX (P < 0.05). There were also similar patterns in p70S6KThr389 and 4E-BP1Thr37/46 phosphorylation, but a greater magnitude of effect was observed for REX and CYC, respectively (P < 0.05). However, AMPKThr172 phosphorylation was only significantly elevated after CYC (P < 0.05), and we observed divergent responses for glycogen synthaseSer641 and AS160 phosphorylation that were enhanced after CYC but not REX (P < 0.05).

Conclusions: We show a similar time course for Akt-mTOR-S6K phosphorylation during the initial 60-min recovery period after divergent contractile stimuli. Conversely, enhanced phosphorylation status of proteins that promote glucose transport and glycogen synthesis only occurred after endurance exercise. Our results indicate that endurance and resistance exercise initiate translational signaling, but high-load, low-repetition contractile activity failed to promote phosphorylation of pathways regulating glucose metabolism.

1School of Medical Science, Health Innovations Research Institute, RMIT University, Melbourne, AUSTRALIA; 2Sport and Exercise Science Division, Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health, Massey University, Palmerston North, NEW ZEALAND; and 3Department of Sport and Exercise Science, University of Auckland, Auckland, NEW ZEALAND

Address for correspondence: Vernon G. Coffey, Ph.D., Exercise Metabolism Group, School of Medical Science, RMIT University, PO Box 71, Bundoora, Victoria 3083, Australia; E-mail:

Submitted for publication December 2009.

Accepted for publication February 2010.

©2010The American College of Sports Medicine