Carbon monoxide, skeletal muscle oxidative stress, and mitochondrial biogenesis in humans.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Given that the physiology of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) encompasses mitochondrial biogenesis, we tested the hypothesis that the HO-1 product, carbon monoxide (CO), activates mitochondrial biogenesis in skeletal muscle and enhances maximal oxygen uptake (Vo(2max)) in humans. In 10 healthy subjects, we biopsied the vastus lateralis and performed Vo(2max) tests followed by blinded randomization to air or CO breathing (1 h/day at 100 parts/million for 5 days), a contralateral muscle biopsy on day 5, and repeat Vo(2max) testing on day 8. Six independent subjects underwent CO breathing and two muscle biopsies without exercise testing. Molecular studies were performed by real-time RT-PCR, Western blot analysis, and immunochemistry. After Vo(2max) testing plus CO breathing, significant increases were found in mRNA levels for nuclear respiratory factor-1, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator-1alpha, mitochondrial transcription factor-A (Tfam), and DNA polymerase gamma (Polgamma) with no change in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number or Vo(2max). Levels of myosin heavy chain I and nuclear-encoded HO-1, superoxide dismutase-2, citrate synthase, mitofusin-1 and -2, and mitochondrial-encoded cytochrome oxidase subunit-I (COX-I) and ATPase-6 proteins increased significantly. None of these responses were reproduced by Vo(2max) testing alone, whereas CO alone increased Tfam and Polgamma mRNA, and COX-I, ATPase-6, mitofusin-2, HO-1, and superoxide dismutase protein. These findings provide evidence linking the HO/CO response involved in mitochondrial biogenesis in rodents to skeletal muscle in humans through a set of responses involving regulation of the mtDNA transcriptosome and mitochondrial fusion proteins autonomously of changes in exercise capacity.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Rhodes, MA; Carraway, MS; Piantadosi, CA; Reynolds, CM; Cherry, AD; Wester, TE; Natoli, MJ; Massey, EW; Moon, RE; Suliman, HB

Published Date

  • July 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 297 / 1

Start / End Page

  • H392 - H399

PubMed ID

  • 19465554

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC2711725

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1522-1539

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1152/ajpheart.00164.2009


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States