Type 5 adenylyl cyclase disruption leads to enhanced exercise performance
The most important physiological mechanism mediating enhanced exercise performance is increased sympathetic, beta adrenergic receptor (beta-AR), and adenylyl cyclase (AC) activity. This is the first report of decreased AC activity mediating increased exercise performance. We demonstrated that AC5 disruption, that is, knock out (KO) mice, a longevity model, increases exercise performance. Importantly for its relation to longevity, exercise was also improved in old AC5 KO. The mechanism resided in skeletal muscle rather than in the heart, as confirmed by cardiac and skeletal muscle-specific AC5 KO's, where exercise performance was no longer improved by the cardiac-specific AC5 KO, but was by the skeletal muscle-specific AC5 KO, and there was no difference in cardiac output during exercise in AC5 KO vs. WT. Mitochondrial biogenesis was a major mechanism mediating the enhanced exercise. SIRT1, FoxO3a, MEK, and the anti-oxidant, MnSOD were upregulated in AC5 KO mice. The improved exercise in the AC5 KO was blocked with either a SIRT1 inhibitor, MEK inhibitor, or by mating the AC5 KO with MnSOD hetero KO mice, confirming the role of SIRT1, MEK, and oxidative stress mechanisms. The Caenorhabditis elegans worm AC5 ortholog, acy-3 by RNAi, also improved fitness, mitochondrial function, antioxidant defense, and lifespan, attesting to the evolutionary conservation of this pathway. Thus, decreasing sympathetic signaling through loss of AC5 is not only a mechanism to improve exercise performance, but is also a mechanism to improve healthful aging, as exercise also protects against diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease, which all limit healthful aging.