Tejvir S. Khurana, MD, PhD, Professor of Physiology at Pennsylvania Muscle Institute revealed that there is a gene, or lack of gene that is responsible for muscular endurance – in mice that is. Mice without the gene codes for a protein (Interleukin-15 receptor alpha – what a name) were able to run 6 times longer than the control mice. The little control fellows also had major fatigued in the muscles of their front legs.
So what is relevant about these rodents that lack the gene codes for us humans? If the gene can be manipulated there is potential to improve muscle performance in a diseased state and even metabolic disorders like obesity and aging. This sounds great, but it may become very relevant in the highest athletic competitive circles.
What is also relevant with respect to us human athletes, is that this IL-15R ( much easier to remember) or loss of it, changes how energy is burned in the fast muscles which leads to increased resistance to fatigue and exercise capacity. To interpret this study even further, as not to get lost in the science (which can be very confusing), fast skeletal muscle function and its role will be better defined.
In fact, Il-15R beyond harnessing the therapeutic potential for muscle based diseases; it will probably become used by high level athletes. This speculation is not just mine; likely it will be part of the athletic doping regiment since it will allow muscles to be reprogrammed in higher performance endurance activities. There are no methods for detecting the use of IL-15R currently – and most likely not for some time. Like most performance enhancers (legal and illegal), they serve usually a greater medical purpose at first. Even HGH (human growth hormone) is an amazing form of treatment for many rare diseases like children with disorders like Turner’s, Prader-WIlli Syndrome and AIDS patients.
For a more details and comprehensive look at the science of this click here for ScienceDaily.com.