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Molecular stressors underlying exercise training‐induced improvements in K+ regulation during exercise and Na+,K+‐ATPase adaptation in human skeletal muscle

Acta Physiologica

Published online on


--- - |2 Abstract Despite substantial progress made towards a better understanding of the importance of skeletal muscle K+ regulation for human physical function and its association with several disease states (eg type‐II diabetes and hypertension), the molecular basis underpinning adaptations in K+ regulation to various stimuli, including exercise training, remains inadequately explored in humans. In this review, the molecular mechanisms essential for enhancing skeletal muscle K+ regulation and its key determinants, including Na+,K+‐ATPase function and expression, by exercise training are examined. Special attention is paid to the following molecular stressors and signaling proteins: oxygenation, redox balance, hypoxia, reactive oxygen species, antioxidant function, Na+,K+, and Ca2+ concentrations, anaerobic ATP turnover, AMPK, lactate, and mRNA expression. On this basis, an update on the effects of different types of exercise training on K+ regulation in humans is provided, focusing on recent discoveries about the muscle fibre‐type‐dependent regulation of Na+,K+‐ATPase‐isoform expression. Furthermore, with special emphasis on blood‐flow‐restricted exercise as an exemplary model to modulate the key molecular mechanisms identified, it is discussed how training interventions may be designed to maximize improvements in K+ regulation in humans. The novel insights gained from this review may help us to better understand how exercise training and other strategies, such as pharmacological interventions, may be best designed to enhance K+ regulation and thus the physical function in humans. - 'Acta Physiologica, EarlyView. '