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Amino Acids. 2012 Jan;42(1):329-36. Epub 2010 Nov 24.
A leucine-rich diet and exercise affect the biomechanical characteristics of the digital flexor tendon in rats after nutritional recovery.
Barbosa AW, Benevides GP, Alferes LM, Salomão EM, Gomes-Marcondes MC, Gomes L.
Department of Anatomy, Cell Biology and Physiology and Biophysics, Institute of Biology, State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Campinas, São Paulo, 13083-970, Brazil.
An increase in the capacity of athletic performance depends on adequate nutrition, which ensures optimal function of the musculoskeletal system, including tendon stability. However, little is known about the status of tendons and extracellular matrix modifications during malnutrition and nutritional recovery when leucine is used in response to exercise conditioning. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the collagen content and biomechanical aspects of the deep digital flexor tendon (DDFT) in malnourished rats submitted to nutritional recovery (control diet or leucine-rich diet) and aerobic physical activity. After 60 days of undernourishment (6% protein diet), the malnourished rats were subsequently nutritionally recovered with a control diet or leucine-rich diet and trained or not (swimming, without overload) for 5 weeks. The biomechanical analysis and quantification of hydroxyproline were assessed in the DDFT in all experimental groups. The leucine-rich diet increased hydroxyproline content in the tension region, independently of the training. In the compression region, hydroxyproline content was higher in the malnourished and leucine-trained groups. Biomechanical analysis showed a lower load in the malnourished and all-trained groups. The lowest stress was observed with control-trained animals. The nutritional-recovered groups showed higher strain values corresponding to control group, while the lowest values were observed in malnourished and trained groups. The results suggest that a leucine-rich diet stimulates collagen synthesis of the DDFT, especially when in combination with physical exercise, and seems to determine the increase of resistance and the biomechanical characteristics of tendons.
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]