Changes in Serum Levels and Gene Expression of PGC-1α in The Cardiac Muscle of Diabetic Rats: The Effect of Dichloroacetate and Endurance Training

Document Type : Original Article


1 .Department of Exercise Physiology, Faculty of Sport Sciences, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran

2 .Department of Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran;.Cellular and Molecular Research Center, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran


Physical activity leads to changes in the level of gene expression in different kinds of cells, including changes in mitochondrial biogenesis in the myocardium in diabetic patients. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator 1α (PGC-1α) is a gene that plays an important role in regulating mitochondrial biogenesis. The purpose of this study was to investigate changes in serum levels and cardiac muscle expression of PGC-1α in diabetic rats in response to the administration of dichloroacetate (DCA) and endurance training.
Materials and Methods
In this experimental study, 64 male Wistar rats were selected and randomly divided into eight groups after induction of diabetes with streptozotocin (STZ). The endurance training protocol was performed on a treadmill for 6 weeks. Intraperitoneal injection of DCA of 50 mg/ kg body weight was used for the inhibition of Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Kinase 4 (PDK4) in the myocardium. Gene expression were measured using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). One-way ANOVA and Tukey’s test were used to statistically analyze the data.
The results of the study showed that PDK4 gene expression in the endurance training group, diabetes+endurance training group, diabetes+endurance training+DCA group and endurance training+DCA group was higher compared to the control group. Expression of PGC-1α was higher in the endurance training group compared to the control group but was lower compared to the control group in diabetes+endurance training+DCA group and diabetes+DCA group (P < 0.05).
Considering that PGC-1α plays an important role in mitochondrial biogenesis, it is likely that by inhibiting PDK4 and subsequently controlling oxidation of fatty acid (FA) in the heart tissue, oxidative stress in the heart tissue of diabetic patients will be reduced and cardiac efficiency will be increased.