Journal of Undergraduate Research


exercise, repeated heat stress, mitochondrial protein content, skeletal muscle


Life Sciences


Exercise Sciences


Exercise has been known to improve mitochondrial function and increase its content in muscle. However, those who suffer from certain diseases such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Type II Diabetes often experience concomitant exercise intolerance. In vitro research suggests that the application of a mild heat stress may be sufficient to activate some of the same signaling proteins that become active during exercise, possibly leading to mitochondrial biogenesis in skeletal muscle. However, this has not yet been confirmed to occur in human skeletal muscle. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of heat therapy on mitochondrial biogenesis in human skeletal muscle. Our hypothesis was that repeated heat stress would increase mitochondrial protein content in human skeletal muscle.

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