Scientific article

Opposite effects of hyperoxia on mitochondrial and contractile efficiency in human quadriceps muscles

Publication date2015

Exercise efficiency is an important determinant of exercise capacity. However, little is known about the physiological factors that can modulate muscle efficiency during exercise. We examined whether improved O2 availability would 1) impair mitochondrial efficiency and shift the energy production toward aerobic ATP synthesis and 2) reduce the ATP cost of dynamic contraction owing to an improved neuromuscular efficiency, such that 3) whole body O2 cost would remain unchanged. We used (31)P-magnetic resonance spectroscopy, surface electromyography, and pulmonary O2 consumption (V̇o2p) measurements in eight active subjects during 6 min of dynamic knee-extension exercise under different fractions of inspired O2 (FiO2 , 0.21 in normoxia and 1.0 in hyperoxia). V̇o2p (755 ± 111 ml/min in normoxia and 799 ± 188 ml/min in hyperoxia, P > 0.05) and O2 cost (P > 0.05) were not significantly different between normoxia and hyperoxia. In contrast, the total ATP synthesis rate and the ATP cost of dynamic contraction were significantly lower in hyperoxia than normoxia (P < 0.05). As a result, the ratio of the rate of oxidative ATP synthesis from the quadriceps to V̇o2p was lower in hyperoxia than normoxia but did not reach statistical significance (16 ± 3 mM/ml in normoxia and 12 ± 5 mM/ml in hyperoxia, P = 0.07). Together, these findings reveal dynamic and independent regulations of mitochondrial and contractile efficiency as a consequence of O2 availability in young active individuals. Furthermore, muscle efficiency appears to be already optimized in normoxia and is unlikely to contribute to the well-established improvement in exercise capacity induced by hyperoxia.

  • Adenosine Triphosphate/metabolism
  • Adult
  • Bicycling
  • Electromyography
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Exercise
  • Exercise Tolerance
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Hyperoxia/metabolism/physiopathology
  • Isometric Contraction
  • Lung/metabolism/physiopathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Male
  • Mitochondria, Muscle/metabolism
  • Muscle Fatigue
  • Muscle Strength
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Quadriceps Muscle/metabolism/physiopathology
  • Time Factors
Citation (ISO format)
LAYEC, Gwenael et al. Opposite effects of hyperoxia on mitochondrial and contractile efficiency in human quadriceps muscles. In: American journal of physiology. Regulatory, integrative and comparative physiology, 2015, vol. 308, n° 8, p. R724–733. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00461.2014
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0363-6119

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