Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Reactive Oxygen Specimen (ROS) Trigger Muscle Hypertrophy via IGF-1 Signaling

I have touched on the "usefulness" of oxidation, only yesterday. Now, a very recent study appears to confirm the notion that a controlled amount of inflammation is necessary in order to achieve metabolic and muscular adaptations.
Figure 1: Eesult of the quantitative analysis of myotube diameter after IGF-I and NAC treatment (Handayaningsih. 2011)
Scientists from Division of Diabetes and Endocrinology and Division of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine published a paper (Handayaningsih. 2011) describing an investigation into the role of Reactive Oxygen Specimen (ROS) in the IGF1-signaling pathway. In this study N-Acetyl-Cystein (NAC), commonly used by recreational athletes as an "ergogenic" aid, blunted myocyte response to IGF1 and thus inhibited muscle hypertophy (cf. Figure 1):
While treatment with H2O2 significantly enhanced IGF-I-induced phosphorylation of the IGF-I receptor (IGF-IR), IGF-IR phosphorylation was markedly attenuated when cells were treated with antioxidants. The downstream signaling pathway, Akt-mTOR-p70S6K was subsequently down-regulated. Furthermore, thephosphorylationof FoxO1by IGF-I decreased concomitantly with the restoration of the expression of its target genes, Atrogin-1 and muscle RING finger 1, which are related to muscle atrophy.
Before you now go and flush all your vitamins and antioxidants down the toilette, you should consider that this is an in-vitro study with a narrow and limited ROS stimulation and not a large scale exercise supplementation study showing that the 500-1.000 mg of NAC you take on a daily basis will completely forestall muscle growth. If anything, it should remind you that excessive "inflammation" could be the "root of all evil" (cf. Super Human Radio), but excessive antioxidant supplementation certainly ain't a solution.