Sexual dimorphism in human skeletal muscle mitochondrial bioenergetics in response to type 1 diabetes Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Sexual dimorphism in mitochondrial respiratory function has been reported in young women and men without diabetes, which may have important implications for exercise. The purpose of this study was to determine if sexual dimorphism exists in skeletal muscle mitochondrial bioenergetics in people with type 1 diabetes (T1D). A resting muscle microbiopsy was obtained from women and men with T1D ( n = 10/8, respectively) and without T1D (control; n = 8/7, respectively). High-resolution respirometry and spectrofluorometry were used to measure mitochondrial respiratory function, hydrogen peroxide (mH2O2) emission and calcium retention capacity (mCRC) in permeabilized myofiber bundles. The impact of T1D on mitochondrial bioenergetics between sexes was interrogated by comparing the change between women and men with T1D relative to the average values of their respective sex-matched controls (i.e., delta). These aforementioned analyses revealed that men with T1D have increased skeletal muscle mitochondrial complex I sensitivity but reduced complex II sensitivity and capacity in comparison to women with T1D. mH2O2 emission was lower in women compared with men with T1D at the level of complex I (succinate driven), whereas mCRC and mitochondrial protein content remained similar between sexes. In conclusion, women and men with T1D exhibit differential responses in skeletal muscle mitochondrial bioenergetics. Although larger cohort studies are certainly required, these early findings nonetheless highlight the importance of considering sex as a variable in the care and treatment of people with T1D (e.g., benefits of different exercise prescriptions).


  • Monaco, Cynthia MF
  • Bellissimo, Catherine A
  • Hughes, Meghan C
  • Ramos, Sofhia V
  • Laham, Robert
  • Perry, Christopher GR
  • Hawke, Thomas

publication date

  • January 1, 2020

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