Exercise training elicits a metabolic and cardiovascular response that underlies fitness. The molecular mechanisms that orchestrate this adaptive response and secure the wide-ranging gains of a regimented exercise program are poorly understood. Formed through association of the Kir6.2 pore and the sulfonylurea receptor, the stress-responsive ATP-sensitive K+ channels (KATP channels), with their metabolic-sensing capability and broad tissue expression, are potential candidates for integrating the systemic adaptive response to repetitive exercise. Here, the responses of mice lacking functional Kir6.2-containing KATP channels (Kir6.2-KO) were compared with wild-type controls following a 28-day endurance swimming protocol. While chronic aquatic training resulted in lighter, leaner, and fitter wild-type animals, the Kir6.2-KO manifested less augmentation in exercise capacity and lacked metabolic improvement in body fat composition and glycemic handling with myocellular defects. Moreover, the repetitive stress of swimming unmasked a survival disadvantage in the Kir6.2-KO, associated with pathologic calcium-dependent structural damage in the heart and impaired cardiac performance. Thus, Kir6.2-containing KATP channel activity is required for attainment of the physiologic benefits of exercise training without injury.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism