Mitochondria are dynamic organelles, intricately designed to meet cellular energy requirements. To accommodate alterations in energy demand, mitochondria have a high degree of plasticity, changing in response to transient activation of numerous stress-related pathways. This adaptive response is particularly relevant in highly metabolic tissues such as skeletal muscle, where mitochondria support numerous biological processes related to metabolism, growth and regeneration. Aerobic exercise is a potent stimulus for skeletal muscle remodelling, leading to alterations in substrate utilisation, fibre-type composition and performance. Underlying these physiological responses is a change in mitochondrial quality control (MQC), a term encompassing the co-ordination of mitochondrial synthesis (biogenesis), remodelling (dynamics) and degradation (mitophagy) pathways. Understanding of MQC in skeletal muscle and the regulatory role of aerobic exercise of this process are rapidly advancing, as are the molecular techniques allowing the study of MQC in vivo. Given the emerging link between MQC and the onset of numerous non-communicable diseases, understanding the molecular regulation of MQC, and the role of aerobic exercise in this process, will have substantial future impact on therapeutic approaches to manipulate MQC and maintain mitochondrial function across health span.
- exercise physiology
- skeletal muscle