Sex differences in mitochondrial respiratory function in human skeletal muscle Academic Article uri icon

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  • Mitochondrial bioenergetic contributions to sex differences in human skeletal muscle metabolism remain poorly defined. The primary aim of this study was to determine whether mitochondrial respiratory kinetics differed between healthy young men and women in permeabilized skeletal muscle fibers. While men and women displayed similar ( P > 0.05) maximal respiration rates and abundance of mitochondrial/adenosine diphosphate (ADP) transport proteins, women had lower ( P < 0.05) mitochondrial ADP sensitivity (+30% apparent Km) and absolute respiration rates at a physiologically relevant ADP concentration (100 μM). Moreover, although men and women exhibited similar carnitine palmitoyl transferase-I protein content- and palmitoyl-CoA-supported respiration, women displayed greater sensitivity to malonyl-CoA-mediated respiratory inhibition. These data establish baseline sex differences in mitochondrial bioenergetics and provide the foundation for studying mitochondrial function within the context of metabolic perturbations and diseases that affect men and women differently.


  • Miotto, Paula M
  • McGlory, Chris
  • Holloway, Tanya M
  • Phillips, Stuart
  • Holloway, Graham P

publication date

  • June 1, 2018