Severe Obesity Shifts Metabolic Thresholds but Does Not Attenuate Aerobic Training Adaptations in Zucker Rats
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Severe obesity affects metabolism with potential to influence the lactate and glycemic response to different exercise intensities in untrained and trained rats. Here we evaluated metabolic thresholds and maximal aerobic capacity in rats with severe obesity and lean counterparts at pre- and post-training. Zucker rats (obese: n = 10, lean: n = 10) were submitted to constant treadmill bouts, to determine the maximal lactate steady state, and an incremental treadmill test, to determine the lactate threshold, glycemic threshold and maximal velocity at pre and post 8 weeks of treadmill training. Velocities of the lactate threshold and glycemic threshold agreed with the maximal lactate steady state velocity on most comparisons. The maximal lactate steady state velocity occurred at higher percentage of the maximal velocity in Zucker rats at pre-training than the percentage commonly reported and used for training prescription for other rat strains (i.e., 60%) (obese = 78 +/- 9% and lean = 68 +/- 5%, P < 0.05 vs. 60%). The maximal lactate steady state velocity and maximal velocity were lower in the obese group at pre-training (P < 0.05 vs. lean), increased in both groups at post-training (P < 0.05 vs. pre), but were still lower in the obese group at post-training (P < 0.05 vs. lean). Training-induced increase in maximal lactate steady state, lactate threshold and glycemic threshold velocities was similar between groups (P > 0.05), whereas increase in maximal velocity was greater in the obese group (P < 0.05 vs. lean). In conclusion, lactate threshold, glycemic threshold and maximal lactate steady state occurred at similar exercise intensity in Zucker rats at pre- and post-training. Severe obesity shifted metabolic thresholds to higher exercise intensity at pre-training, but did not attenuate submaximal and maximal aerobic training adaptations.