Fatiguing exercise reduces DNA binding activity of NF-κB in skeletal muscle nuclei

William J. Durham, Yi Ping Li, Eric Gerken, Mehran Farid, Sandrine Arbogast, Robert R. Wolfe, Michael B. Reid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Scopus citations


This study tested the hypothesis that skeletal muscle contraction activates nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), a putative regulator of muscle protein breakdown. Muscle biopsies were obtained from the vastus lateralis of healthy humans before, immediately after, and 1 h after fatiguing resistance exercise of the lower limbs. Biopsies were analyzed for nuclear NF-κB DNA binding activity by using electrophoretic mobility shift assay. NF-κB activity, measured immediately after exercise, was less than preexercise activity; after 1-h recovery, activity returned to preexercise levels. In follow-up studies in adult mice, basal NF-κB activity varied among individual muscles. NF-κB activity in diaphragm fiber bundles was decreased after a 10-min bout of fatiguing tetanic contractions in. vitro. NF-κB activity in soleus was increased by 12 days of unloading by hindlimb suspension; this increase was reversed by 10 min of fatiguing exercise. These data provide no support for our original hypothesis. Instead, acute fatiguing exercise appears to decrease NF-κB activity in muscle under a variety of conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1740-1745
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2004



  • Muscle contraction
  • Oxidative stress
  • Signal transduction
  • Transcription factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

Cite this

Durham, W. J., Li, Y. P., Gerken, E., Farid, M., Arbogast, S., Wolfe, R. R., & Reid, M. B. (2004). Fatiguing exercise reduces DNA binding activity of NF-κB in skeletal muscle nuclei. Journal of Applied Physiology, 97(5), 1740-1745. https://doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.00088.2004