Research Highlight - Study identifies metabolite changes in "fit" mice.

Posted on Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Uncoupling protein 3 (UCP3) is highly selectively expressed in skeletal muscle and is known to lower mitochondrial reactive oxygen species and promote fatty acid oxidation; however, the global impact of UCP3 activity on skeletal muscle and whole-body metabolism have not been extensively studied. In a study published in the FASEB Journal, Dr. Mary-Ellen Harper and colleagues utilized untargeted metabolomics to identify novel metabolites that distinguish mice overexpressing UCP3 in muscle, both at rest and after exercise regimens, to potentially unmask subtle phenotypes. Male wild-type (WT) and muscle-specific UCP3-overexpressing transgenic (UCP3 Tg) C57BL/6J mice were compared with or without a 5 wk endurance training protocol at rest or after an acute exercise bout (EB). A total of 80 metabolites accurately discriminated UCP3 Tg mice from WT when modeled within a specific exercise condition (i.e., untrained/rested, endurance trained/rested, untrained/EB, and endurance trained/EB). The results indicate that mitochondrial UCP3 activity affects metabolism well beyond fatty acid oxidation, regulating biochemical pathways associated with amino acid metabolism and redox status. That certain metabolites were altered in liver of UCP3 Tg mice indicates that changes in muscle UCP3 activity can also affect other organ systems, presumably through changes in systemic metabolite trafficking.

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