Branched-Chain Amino Acid Ingestion Stimulates Muscle Myofibrillar Protein Synthesis following Resistance Exercise in Humans
Frontiers in Physiology
Copyright © 2017 Jackman, Witard, Philp, Wallis, Baar and Tipton. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
The ingestion of intact protein or essential amino acids (EAA) stimulates mechanistic target of rapamycin complex-1 (mTORC1) signaling and muscle protein synthesis (MPS) following resistance exercise. The purpose of this study was to investigate the response of myofibrillar-MPS to ingestion of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) only (i.e., without concurrent ingestion of other EAA, intact protein, or other macronutrients) following resistance exercise in humans. Ten young (20.1 ± 1.3 years), resistance-trained men completed two trials, ingesting either 5.6 g BCAA or a placebo (PLA) drink immediately after resistance exercise. Myofibrillar-MPS was measured during exercise recovery with a primed, constant infusion of L-[ring13C6] phenylalanine and collection of muscle biopsies pre and 4 h-post drink ingestion. Blood samples were collected at time-points before and after drink ingestion. Western blotting was used to measure the phosphorylation status of mTORC1 signaling proteins in biopsies collected pre, 1-, and 4 h-post drink. The percentage increase from baseline in plasma leucine (300 ± 96%), isoleucine (300 ± 88%), and valine (144 ± 59%) concentrations peaked 0.5 h-post drink in BCAA. A greater phosphorylation status of S6K1Thr389 (P = 0.017) and PRAS40 (P = 0.037) was observed in BCAA than PLA at 1 h-post drink ingestion. Myofibrillar-MPS was 22% higher (P = 0.012) in BCAA (0.110 ± 0.009%/h) than PLA (0.090 ± 0.006%/h). Phenylalanine Ra was ~6% lower in BCAA (18.00 ± 4.31 μmol·kgBM−1) than PLA (21.75 ± 4.89 μmol·kgBM−1; P = 0.028) after drink ingestion. We conclude that ingesting BCAAs alone increases the post-exercise stimulation of myofibrillar-MPS and phosphorylation status mTORC1 signaling.
Supported by GlaxoSmithKline Healthcare (research grant to KDT).
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Vol. 8: 390