High intensity interval training improves insulin sensitivity and increases skeletal muscle perilipin 2 and perilipin 5 content in obese males (#221)
High intensity interval training (HIT) is an effective exercise mode to improve oxidative capacity, intramuscular lipid (IMCL) metabolism and insulin sensitivity in sedentary lean individuals. Furthermore, increased expression of the lipid droplet associated proteins, perilipin 2 and perilipin 5, appear important in the training-induced improvements in intramuscular lipid metabolism. We aimed to investigate the hypotheses that a modified HIT intervention in sedentary obese males, would 1) improve VO2peak, insulin sensitivity and cardiovascular risk factors and 2) increase IMCL, PLIN2 and PLIN5 content in skeletal muscle.
Sixteen sedentary obese males (25±2 y, BMI 34.8±1.3 kg/m2) performed 4 weeks of either HIT (4-7 30s bouts at a constant load of 200% Wpeak interspersed with 2 min recovery, 3 days per week) or endurance-type exercise training (ET: 40-60 min cycling at ~65% VO2peak, 5 days per week). Fibre type specific perilipin 2, perilipin 5 and IMCL content was assessed using immunofluorescence microscopy. Values are given as means ± SEM.
Training increased VO2peak (HIT 7±3%, ET 12±4; P<0.05) and the Matsuda insulin sensitivity index (HIT 14±3%, ET 17±9%; P<0.05). Training reduced fasting plasma cholesterol (HIT -13±6%, ET -10±7%; P<0.05) and fasting plasma triglyceride concentration (HIT -16±8%, ET -10±7%; P=0.06). Training increased both perilipin 2 (HIT 92±19%, ET 82±23%; P<0.05) and perilipin 5 protein content (HIT 54±15%, ET 36±10%; P<0.05) in type I muscle fibres only. IMCL concentration in type I muscle fibres tended to increase in response to training (HIT 51±21%, ET 31±25%; P=0.086).
This study demonstrates that 4 weeks of HIT at 200% Wpeak is effective in increasing VO2peak and reducing cardiometabolic risk factors in sedentary obese males. Furthermore, we contend that the increased expression of perilipin 2 and perilipin 5 contributes to training-induced improvements in the regulation of intramuscular lipid metabolism and insulin sensitivity.