Gnaiger 2015 Scand J Med Sci Sports

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Gnaiger E, Boushel R, Søndergaard H, Munch-Andersen T, Damsgaard R, Hagen C, Díez-Sánchez C, Ara I, Wright-Paradis C, Schrauwen P, Hesselink M, Calbet JAL, Christiansen M, Helge JW, Saltin B (2015) Mitochondrial coupling and capacity of oxidative phosphorylation in skeletal muscle of Inuit and caucasians in the arctic winter. Scand J Med Sci Sports 25 (Suppl 4):126–34.

» PMID: 26589126 Open Access »O2k-brief

Gnaiger E, Boushel R, Soendergaard H, Munch-Andersen T, Damsgaard R, Hagen C, Diez-Sanchez C, Ara I, Wright-Paradis C, Schrauwen P, Hesselink M, Calbet JA, Christiansen M, Helge JW, Saltin B (2015) Scand J Med Sci Sports

Abstract: O2k-Publications: TopicsO2k-in brief


During evolution, mtDNA haplogroups of arctic populations may have been selected for lower coupling of mitochondrial respiration to ATP production in favor of higher heat production. We show that mitochondrial coupling in skeletal muscle of traditional and westernized Inuit habituating northern Greenland is identical to Danes of western Europe haplogroups. Biochemical coupling efficiency was preserved across variations in diet, muscle fibre type and uncoupling protein-3 content. Mitochondrial phenotype displayed plasticity in relation to lifestyle and environment. Untrained Inuit and Danes had identical capacities to oxidize fat substrate in arm muscle, which increased in Danes during the 42 days of acclimation to exercise, approaching the higher level of the Inuit hunters. A common pattern emerges of mitochondrial acclimatization and evolutionary adaptation in humans at high latitude and high altitude where economy of locomotion may be optimized by preservation of biochemical coupling efficiency at modest mitochondrial density, when submaximum performance is uncoupled from VO2max and maximum capacities of oxidative phosphorylation.

Keywords: BMI, VO2max Bioblast editor: Gnaiger E O2k-Network Lab: AT Innsbruck Gnaiger E, AT Innsbruck Oroboros, CA Vancouver Boushel RC, NL Maastricht Schrauwen P, DK Copenhagen Christiansen M, ES CN Las Palmas Calbet JA

Labels: MiParea: Respiration, mt-Biogenesis;mt-density, mtDNA;mt-genetics, Comparative MiP;environmental MiP, Gender, Exercise physiology;nutrition;life style 

Stress:Temperature  Organism: Human  Tissue;cell: Skeletal muscle  Preparation: Permeabilized tissue  Enzyme: Marker enzyme, TCA cycle and matrix dehydrogenases  Regulation: Coupling efficiency;uncoupling, Cyt c  Coupling state: LEAK, OXPHOS, ET  Pathway: F, N, S, ROX  HRR: Oxygraph-2k, O2k-Protocol 

MitoFitPublication, VO2max, 1OctM;2D;3G;4S;5Rot;6Omy;7U-, SUIT-016, SUIT-016 O2 pfi D044, MitoEAGLE BME 

SUIT protocol

Science and adventure
Project of the Copenhagen Muscle Research Centre (CMRC), Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark (Prof. Dr. Bengt Saltin). Logo of the CMRC Greenland 2004 Expedition, designed by Crownprince Frederik of Denmark.

Greenland expedition CMRC: science and adventure

» Greenland Expedition CMRC
» The Saltin Symposium: Exercise and Integrative Physiology (2015)

MitoEAGLE VO2max/BME data base

  • Human vastus lateralis
  • 8 females & 8 males
  • 31 years
  • Active; Danes, baseline control in Copenhagen
  • h = 1.75 m
  • m = 74.5 kg
  • BME = 1.19
  • BMI = 24.3 kg·m-2
  • VO2max/BM = 48.0 mL·min-1·kg-1
  • Permeabilized muscle fibres; 30 °C; GMSP; mw; conversions: Gnaiger 2009 Int J Biochem Cell Biol
  • JO2,P(NS) = 90.5 µmol·s-1·kg-1 wet muscle mass (37 °C)

Bengt Saltin - a Gentle Scientist

Saltin-Bengt 2015-June Salutation GnaigerE.jpg

Additional references

  • Marconi C, Marzorati M, Cerretelli P (2006) Work capacity of permanent residents of high altitude. High Alt Med Biol 7:105-115. - »Bioblast link«
  • Tam E, Bruseghini P, Calabria E, Sacco LD, Doria C, Grassi B, Pietrangelo T, Pogliaghi S, Reggiani C, Salvadego D, Schena F, Toniolo L, Verratti V, Vernillo G, Capelli C (2015) Gokyo Khumbu/Ama Dablam Trek 2012: effects of physical training and high-altitude exposure on oxidative metabolism, muscle composition, and metabolic cost of walking in women. Eur J Appl Physiol. - »Bioblast link«



» List of O2k-Publications presented as O2k-brief

MitoFit news 2015#18

  • 2015-11-25: Performance tests on skeletal muscle mitochondria of the Inuit haplogroup reveal fitness information beyond the uncoupling hypothesis for adaptations to the arctic climate. » MitoFit news - a contribution to K-Regio MitoFit.