Glucocorticoid receptor (NR3C1) variants associate with the muscle strength and size response to resistance training

Garrett I. Ash, Matthew A. Kostek, Harold Lee, Theodore J. Angelopoulos, Priscilla M. Clarkson, Paul M. Gordon, Niall M. Moyna, Paul S. Visich, Robert F. Zoeller, Thomas B. Price, Joseph M. Devaney, Heathe Gordish-Dressman, Paul D. Thompson, Eric P. Hoffman, Linda S. Pescatello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Glucocorticoid receptor (NR3C1) polymorphisms associate with obesity, muscle strength, and cortisol sensitivity. We examined associations among four NR3C1 polymorphisms and the muscle response to resistance training (RT). European-American adults (n = 602, 23.8±0.4yr) completed a 12 week unilateral arm RT program. Maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) assessed isometric strength (kg) and MRI assessed biceps size (cm2) preand post-resistance training. Subjects were genotyped for NR3C1-2722G>A, -1887G>A, -1017T>C, and +363A>G. Men carrying the -2722G allele gained less relative MVC (17.3 ±1.2vs33.5±6.1%) (p = 0.010) than AA homozygotes; men with -1887GG gained greater relative MVC than A allele carriers (19.6±1.4vs13.2±2.3%) (p = 0.016). Women carrying the -1017T allele gained greater relative size (18.7±0.5vs16.1±0.9%) (p = 0.016) than CC homozygotes.We found sex-specific NR3C1 associations with the muscle strength and size response to RT. Future studies should investigate whether these associations are partially explained by cortisol's actions in muscle tissue as they interact with sex differences in cortisol production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0148112
JournalPloS one
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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