Protein-leucine ingestion activates a regenerative inflammo-myogenic transcriptome in skeletal muscle following intense endurance exercise
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Protein-leucine supplement ingestion following strenuous endurance exercise accentuates skeletal-muscle protein synthesis and adaptive molecular responses, but the underlying transcriptome is uncharacterized. In a randomized single-blind triple-crossover design, 12 trained men completed 100 min of high-intensity cycling then ingested 70/15/180/30 g protein-leucine-carbohydrate-fat (15LEU), 23/5/180/30 g (5LEU), or 0/0/274/30 g (CON) beverages during the first 90 min of a 240 min recovery period. Vastus lateralis muscle samples (30 and 240 min postexercise) underwent transcriptome analysis by microarray followed by bioinformatic analysis. Gene expression was regulated by protein-leucine in a dose-dependent manner affecting the inflammatory response and muscle growth and development. At 30 min, 15LEU and 5LEU vs. CON activated transcriptome networks with gene-set functions involving cell-cycle arrest (Z-score 2.0-2.7, P < 0.01), leukocyte maturation (1.7, P = 0.007), cell viability (2.4, P = 0.005), promyogenic networks encompassing myocyte differentiation and myogenin (MYOD1, MYOG), and a proteinaceous extracellular matrix, adhesion, and development program correlated with plasma lysine, arginine, tyrosine, taurine, glutamic acid, and asparagine concentrations. High protein-leucine dose (15LEU-5LEU) activated an IL-1I-centered proinflammatory network and leukocyte migration, differentiation, and survival functions (2.0-2.6, <0.001). By 240 min, the protein-leucine transcriptome was anti-inflammatory and promyogenic (IL-6, NF- β, SMAD, STAT3 network inhibition), with overrepresented functions including decreased leukocyte migration and connective tissue development (-1.8-2.4, P < 0.01), increased apoptosis of myeloid and muscle cells (2.2-3.0, P < 0.002), and cell metabolism (2.0-2.4, P < 0.01). The analysis suggests protein-leucine ingestion modulates inflammatory-myogenic regenerative processes during skeletal muscle recovery from endurance exercise. Further cellular and translational research is warranted to validate amino acid-mediated myeloid and myocellular mechanisms within skeletal-muscle functional plasticity.
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