Positive muscle protein net balance and differential regulation of atrogene expression after resistance exercise and milk protein supplementation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Søren Reitelseder
  • Jakob Agergaard
  • Simon Doessing
  • Ida C Helmark
  • Peter Schjerling
  • Gerrit van Hall
  • Michael Kjær

Colleges, School and Institutes


Purpose: Resistance exercise and amino acid availability are positive regulators of muscle protein net balance (NB). However, anabolic responses to resistance exercise and protein supplementation deserve further elucidation. The purpose was to compare intakes of whey, caseinate (both: 0.30 g/kg lean body mass), or a non-caloric control after heavy resistance exercise on protein turnover and mRNA expressions of forkhead homeobox type O (FOXO) isoforms, muscle RING finger 1 (MuRF1), and Atrogin1 in young healthy males. Methods: Protein turnover was determined by stable isotope-labeled leucine and femoral arteriovenous blood samples at rest and during 6-h recovery. Muscle biopsies were collected at −60 min (rest) and at 60, 210, and 360 min in the recovery period. Results: During recovery, leucine NB was significantly higher in the protein groups compared to control (P <0.001). Differences in leucine NB, rate of disappearance, and oxidation were observed in the early recovery period between whey and caseinate. FOXO1A and MuRF1 were upregulated at 60 and 210 min, and, in contrast, FOXO3 and Atrogin1 were downregulated at 210 and 360 min. For leucine rate of appearance and all FOXO and atrogene mRNA expressions, no differences were observed between groups. Conclusions: Whey and caseinate were equally superior to control in the 6-h recovery period and displayed temporal differences with whey having a fast and superior effect in the early part of the recovery period. Effects on mRNA expressions indicate different regulatory mechanisms on the ubiquitin ligases MuRF1 and Atrogin1 in recovery from heavy resistance exercise.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-333
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Nutrition
Issue number1
Early online date3 May 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2014


  • Whey, Caseinate, Muscle protein turnover, Leucine oxidation, Ubiquitin ligases