Int J Sports Med 2004; 25(6): 433-437
DOI: 10.1055/s-2004-820934
Physiology & Biochemistry

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Effects of Downhill Treadmill Running on Uncoupling Protein 3 mRNA Expression

R. W. Bryner1 , D. A. Donley1 , R. G. Cutlip2 , O. Wirth2 , S. E. Alway1
  • 1Laboratory of Muscle, Sarcopenia and Muscle Diseases, Division of Exercise Physiology, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, West Virginia, USA
  • 2CDC National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, West Virginia, USA
Further Information

Publication History

Accepted after revision: September 30, 2003

Publication Date:
02 September 2004 (online)


Eccentric biased exercise has been reported to elicit more muscle injury than concentric or isometric exercise and potentially generate increased oxidative stress one to two days post exercise. Increased oxidative stress has been shown to up-regulate the expression of UCP3 mRNA. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of downhill running on skeletal muscle UCP3 mRNA expression. Twenty-four male Sprague Dawley rats were randomly assigned to run continuously for 30 minutes (30-C, n = 6), or run six 5-minute bouts separated by rest periods of 2 minutes (2-R, n = 6), 4 minutes (4-R, n = 6), and 6 minutes (6-R, n = 6) on a 16 degree declined treadmill at a speed of 16 m · min-1. Sham control animals (n = 8) were placed in a treadmill chamber during the 30-minute run session. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR was conducted to evaluate UCP3 mRNA levels in the plantaris, a muscle used eccentrically during downhill running and tibialis anterior, a muscle which undergoes very little eccentric muscle contraction during this exercise. The level of gene expression was normalized to 18 S ribosomal mRNA expression from the same PCR product. Results are reported as mean ± standard error. UCP3 of the plantaris muscles from 2-R animals (2.36 ± 0.13) was significantly greater than UCP3 of the plantaris from control animals (1.72 ± 0.13), p < 0.05. UCP3 of the tibialis anterior from the continuous group (1.51 ± 0.17) was significantly less than the UCP3 of the tibialis anterior of the control group (2.09 ± 1.4), p < 0.05. These data suggest that downhill treadmill running is associated with an increase in UCP3 mRNA expression in the plantaris muscle. These results indicate that exercise which is biased toward eccentric exercise may up-regulate UCP3 mRNA during the period post exercise when muscle damage and repair is elevated.


R. W. Bryner

Laboratory of Muscle, Sarcopenia and Muscle Diseases · Division of Exercise Physiology · West Virginia University School of Medicine · Robert C. Byrd Health Science Center

Morgantown WV 26506-9227


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