Crosstalk between tight junction genes and muscle strength: Applying supplement and resistance training to old male wistar rats

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Exercise Physiology, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran.


Aim of this study was to determine the relations among the tight junction (TJs) genes, muscle strength and cross-sectional area (CSA) influenced by resistance training with or without specific supplement (a combination of lactobacillus and bifidobacterium probiotics, leucine amino acid and Vitamin-D). For this purpose, 25 male wistar rats in two age groups (3 months in young control and 16-24 months in four other groups) randomly divided in 5 equal groups (old and young control, resistance training, supplement and resistance training plus supplement). After 8 weeks of resistance training trice a week and oral gavage of supplement 5 times per week there were no any relation between grip strength and muscle CSA with zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) and occludin (Occ) genes. But result of one-way ANOVA revealed that there were significantly differences among study groups in TJs genes, muscle strength and CSA (P≤0.05). Our finding showed that resistance training along with supplement can increase the level of ZO-1 (P=0.011), and Occ genes (P=0.023) expression. Indeed, resistance training plus supplement had synergistic effect on muscle CSA and grip strength (P=0.001) that can be comparable with young group. In addition, supplement alone appears that doesn’t have beneficial impact on physical function but surprisingly our finding shows strong inverse correlation between Occ and grip strength (p=0.015, r= -1.0) in supplement group which implies that although supplement alone can’t improve physical function but can maintain intestinal barrier function.

What is already known on this subject?

Gut-muscle axis is a well-known issue and it is clear that there is strong relation between gut microbiome, muscle function and mass. Each component that can increase SCFA maybe will alleviate inflammation and will decrease level of pro-inflammatory cytokines.


What this study adds?

In this study, it was found that although there is a close relationship between intestinal bacterial content and muscle, this relationship is not established between the physical structure of intestinal tight junction and muscle function. There is weak and negative relation between Occ and grip strength that maybe produced by supplement. However, the combination of exercise and supplementation likely be an effective solution to prevent the loss of muscle mass associated with aging and the reduction of the expression of tight junction genes.


Main Subjects


The authors are grateful to all individuals who contributed to the conducting and process of this study, especially the animal performance laboratory team for their technical support in “Gene and Tissue Laboratory of Pasargad” and Milad Poya Company for providing supplement components.



Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval Animals had free access to standard food and water. All stages of keeping and slaughtering rats were carried out according to the rules of the Animal Ethics Committee of Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran (ethical code: IR.SBU.REC.1402.052).

Informed consent Animal study.

Author contributions

Conceptualization: H.A., M.M.; Methodology: H.A., M.M.; Software: M.M.; Validation: M.M., Formal analysis; Investigation: H.A, M.M.; Resources: H.A.; Data curation: H.A., M.M.; Writing - original draft: M.M.; Writing – review & editing: H.A.; Visualization: M.M., H.A.; Supervision: H.A. Project administration: M.M.; Funding acquisition: H.A.

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