This study was aimed to consider the effects of uphill (concentric, CON) and downhill (eccentric, ECC) treadmill exercise with Nano-BCAA supplementation on muscle protein expression of Akt and mTOR.
Thirty aging male Wistar rats were randomly divided into 6 groups of (n = 5 each group): control (healthy), uphill running (CON, 0 to + 15°), downhill running (ECC, 0 to − 15°), Nano-BCAA (BCAA with Nano-Chitosan), CON + Nano-BCAA, and ECC + Nano-BCAA. The exercise training was performed in an interval form, with 3 sessions per weeks lasting 8 weeks. BCAA (in Nano form) administered by gavage 3 sessions per week for 8 weeks. RT-PCR was used to measure gene expression of Akt and mTOR. As well, protein expression of mTOR was performed by the IHC method.
Administration of BCAA with CON and ECC increased the Akt gene expression (p < 0.05). Co-treatment of Nano-BCAA and exercises leads to much higher values of Akt than does single treatment. Compared to the healthy control group (without Nano-BCAA), co-treatment of CON + Nano-BCAA and ECC + Nano-BCAA showed a significant increase in the mTOR gene expression (p < 0.05).
The use of walking exercises, especially with a negative or positive slope, along with proper nutrition (taking healthy supplements such as BCAA) could be effective in strengthening muscle tissue, especially at the cellular level (increasing the Akt/mTOR activity). It can be an optimal alternative for those who cannot use resistance training at old age.