Lipid metabolism in skeletal muscle of endurance-trained males and females

D. L. Costill, W. J. Fink, L. H. Getchell, J. L. Ivy, F. A. Witzmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

141 Scopus citations


Biopsies were obtained from the gastrocnemius muscle of 13 male and 12 female distance runners and analyzed for [14C]palmitoyl-CoA oxidation, fiber composition, and the activities of selected enzymes. The male and female runners were similar in terms of maximal oxygen uptake [VO2(max)], training mileage, fiber compositions, and data collected during a 60-min treadmill run at 70% VO2(max). Muscle succinate dehydrogenase and carnitine palmitoyl transferase activities were, however, significantly greater (P < 0.05) in the male than in the female runners. In addition, the male runners' muscle also showed a greater capacity to oxidize palmitoyl CoA. Little relationship, however, was found between muscle lipid metabolism, enzyme activities, and the calculated (respiratory exchange) fraction of energy derived from fat during 60 min of running at 70% VO2(max). Although these data support the concept that endurance training (80-115 km/wk) markedly enhances the capacity of muscles to metabolize fats, the factors that regulate the usage of lipids during prolonged exercise do not appear to be limited by the capacity of the fibers to oxidize fatty acids, as determined by in vitro measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)787-791
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology Respiratory Environmental and Exercise Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1979
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology

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