, Volume 74, Issue 6, pp 709–715 | Cite as

Arginine induces skeletal muscle fiber type conversion by upregulating Akirin2 and AMPK/PGC-1α in mice

  • Xiaoling Chen
  • Gang Jia
  • Hua Zhao
  • Guangmang Liu
  • Zhiqing HuangEmail author
Original Article


We have previously reported that arginine promotes slow myosin heavy chain expression in cell culture via Akirin2 and the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling pathway. Our goal in the present study was to investigate whether arginine has similar functions and molecular mechanisms in vivo. Kunming mice were fed a diet supplemented with arginine and actively immunized with Akirin2. The study lasted for 40 d. Tibialis anterior (TA) muscle was harvested for analysis. We found that Kunming mice supplemented with arginine significantly increased the oxidative fibers expression and decreased the expression of glycolytic fiber. Expressions of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator 1α (PGC-1α) and AMPK were increased in the TA muscle of arginine-treated Kunming mice. We also find that dietary supplementation of arginine increased the succinate dehydrogenase and malate dehydrogenase activities and decreased the lactate dehydrogenase activity. But active immunization against Akirin2 got opposite results. These results indicated that arginine induced muscle fiber transition from type II to type I, which may be mediated by Akirin2 and AMPK//PGC-1α signaling pathway.


Arginine muscle fiber type conversion mice Akirin2 AMPK/PGC-1α signaling 



AMP-activated protein kinase


peroxisome proliferator activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α


tibialis anterior


lactate dehydrogenase


malate dehydrogenase


succinic dehydrogenase


intramuscular fat


myosin heavy chain


phosphate buffer saline.



This work was supported by the Sichuan Youth Science and Technology Foundation (No. 2017JQ0008), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31472108), and the Specific Research Supporting Program for Discipline Construction in Sichuan Agricultural University.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of Interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All animal procedures were performed in compliance with the experimental protocols approved by the Animal Care and Use Committee of the Animal Nutrition Institute of Sichuan Agricultural University.


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Copyright information

© Institute of Molecular Biology, Slovak Academy of Sciences  2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory for Animal Disease-Resistance Nutrition of China Ministry of Education, Institute of Animal NutritionSichuan Agricultural UniversityChengduPeople’s Republic of China

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