A recent study demonstrated a positive effect of apple polyphenol (APP) intake on muscle endurance of young-adult animals. While an enhancement of lipid metabolism may be responsible, in part, for the improvement, the contributing mechanisms still need clarification. Here we show that an 8-week intake of 5% (w/w) APP in the diet, up-regulates two features related to fiber type: the ratio of myosin heavy chain (MyHC) type IIx/IIb and myoglobin protein expression in plantaris muscle of 9-week-old male Fischer F344 rats compared to pair-fed controls (P < 0.05). Results were demonstrated by our SDS-PAGE system specialized for MyHC isoform separation and western blotting of whole muscles. Animalgrowth profiles (food intake, body-weight gain, and internal-organ weights) did not differ between the control and 5% APP-fed animals (n = 9/group). Findings may account for the increase in fatigue resistance of lower hind limb muscles, as evidenced by a slower decline in the maximum isometric planter-flexion torque generated by a 100-s train of electrical stimulation of the tibial nerve. Additionally, the fatigue resistance was lower after 8 weeks of a 0.5% APP diet than after 5% APP, supporting an APP-dose dependency of the shift in fibertype composition. Therefore, the present study highlights a promising contribution of dietary APP intake to increasing endurance based on fiber-type composition in rat muscle. Results may help in developing a novel strategy for application in animal sciences, and human sports and age-related health sciences.
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