Exercise induces an increase in muscle UCP3 as a component of the increase in mitochondrial biogenesis

Terry E. Jones, Keith Baar, Edward Ojuka, May Chen, John O. Holloszy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Previous studies have indicated that exercise acutely induces large increases in uncoupling protein-3 (UCP3) in skeletal muscle, whereas endurance training results in marked decreases in muscle UCP3. Because UCP3 expression appears to be regulated by the same mechanism as other mitochondrial constituents, it seemed unlikely that exercise would result in such large and divergent changes in mitochondrial composition. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that major changes in UCP3 protein concentration do not occur independently of mitochondrial biogenesis and that UCP3 increases as a component of the exercise-induced increase in mitochondria. We found a large increase in UCP3 mRNA immediately and 3 h after a bout of swimming. UCP3 protein concentration was increased ∼35% 18 h after a single exercise bout, ∼63% after 3 days, and ∼84% after 10 days of exercise. These increases in UCP3 roughly paralleled those of other mitochondrial marker proteins. Our results are consistent with the interpretation that endurance exercise induces an adaptive increase in mitochondria that have a normal content of UCP3.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number1 47-1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Cytochrome c
  • Cytochrome oxidase
  • Gene expression
  • Skeletal muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Biochemistry


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