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Table 1 Summary of included articles

From: Genes to predict VO2max trainability: a systematic review

Author, Year, Country Gene/s tested for VO2max trainability Study Design Study Sample Tissue source Method for Genotyping Intervention
Xu, 2015, China ALAS2 Single group, longitudinal. VO2max and venous blood samples taken pre & post intervention. N = 244 healthy Chinese males; 18-22 years (20 ± 1.76); wt 65.06 ± 9.59 kg; ht. 174.37 ± 6.16 cm. N = 72 randomly selected for HiHiLo training (69.8 ± 7.8 kg and 177.93 ± 5.26 cm). Peripheral blood leucocytes PCR protocol + separation on polyacrylamide gel 4 weeks; supervised HiLo training in hypoxia-training centre. Hi = bicycle ergometer for 30 mins at 75% VO2max, in 15.4% O2 concentrated environment, 3×/week for 4 weeks. Lo = same training but at lower elevation.
Yu, 2014, China APOE Single group, longitudinal. VO2max, anthropometric and serum levels tested pre & post intervention. N = 360; 180 Chinese males and females; age 32.8 ± 11.9 yrs.; BMI 25.4 ± 5.6 kg/m2 M; BMI 26 ± 6.2 kg/m2 F; no health concerns; inactive. Peripheral blood leucocytes PCR-(polymerase chain reaction)-RFLP (restriction fragment length polymorphism) assay 6 mths; progressive; supervised aerobic training; 60–85% VO2max.
Zarebska, 2014, Poland GSTP1 Single group, longitudinal. VO2max, HRmax, VEmax, AT and body composition tested pre & post intervention; balanced diet prior to intervention (2000 kcal) N = 66 Polish females; 19–24 yrs.; BMI 21.8 ± 2.1 kg/m2; no health concerns; inactive; no supplements or medications; non-smokers. Buccal cells TaqMan allelic discrimination assay using qPCR 3 mths; supervised; progressive MICT; 3×/wk.; 50–75% HRmax; 30–60 min.
Ghosh, 2013, Singapore GWAS Retrospective, single-group longitudinal. V02max tested pre & post intervention. HERITAGE WHITES: n = 473 Caucasians; 230 male & 243 females; no major health concerns; inactive. Lymphoblastoid cell lines Illumina Human CNV370-Quad Bead Chips HERITAGE: 20 wks; supervised; progressive MICT; 3×/wk.; 55–75% VO2max; 30–50 min.
Bouchard, 2011, USA GWAS Retrospective HERITAGE: Single group, longitudinal; VO2max tested pre & post intervention. DREW: RCT; VO2max tested pre & post intervention. STRRIDE 1 & 2: RCT; VO2max tested pre & post intervention. HERITAGE WHITES: n = 473 Caucasians (252 women); 17–65 yrs.; inactive; no major health concerns
HERITAGE BLACKS: n = 259 (177 women); 17–65 years; inactive; no major health concerns
HERITAGE average age = 35.7 ± 14.5 yrs., BMI 25.8 ± 4.9 kg/m2.
DREW study: n = 464 overweight or obese postmenopausal women; inactive; no major health concerns.
STRRIDE 1 study: M&F; 40–65 yrs.; inactive; overweight, dyslipidemic and postmenopausal (F).
STRRIDE 2 study: 18–70 yrs.; inactive; overweight, dyslipidemic. N = 183 for STRRIDE 1&2 studies.
Lymphoblastoid cell lines Illumina Human CNV370-Quad Bead Chips HERITAGE
20 wks; supervised; progressive, MICT; 3×/wk.; 55–75% VO2max; 30–50 min.
DREW: 6 mths; supervised; exercise groups: 4, 8 or 12 kcal/kg/week (MICT); 3-4×/week; progressive training intensity started at 50% VO2max. Each group expended 4 kcal/kg/week for first week.
Group 1: maintained 4 kcal/kg/week for 6 months. Group 2: increased by 1 kcal/kg/week until 8ckal/week reached – maintain for remaining time. Group 3: increased by 1 kcal/kg/week until 8ckal/week reached – maintain for remaining time.
STRRIDE 1: 8–9 mths; supervised exercise sessions. Three groups: 1. High-amount/vigorous intensity exercise (170 min/week/2000 kcal/week) or the calorie equivalent of jogging for ~20 miles per week at 55–85% VO2max.
2. Low amount/vigorous-intensity exercise/1200 kcal/week (~120 min/week) or the equivalent of 12 miles/week for jogging at 65–80%.
3. Low amount, moderate intensity exercise (1200 kcal/week (170 min/week) or the equivalent of 12 miles/week at 40–55% VO2max.
STRRIDE 2: 8–9 mths; supervised; four groups:
1: Aerobic training – 1300 cal – 65-80%; 2: Resistance training only with 3 sets of 12–15 reps 3 x /week. 3: Combination of the first 2 protocols; 4: High anaerobic training – 2200 cal – 3 x week – 65-80%. First 2–3 months ‘ramp up period’. Following 6 mths using appropriate protocol.
McKenzie, 2011, USA AKT Single group, longitudinal. VO2max tested pre & post intervention; dietary stabilisation. N = 51 M and 58 F Caucasians; 50–75 yrs.; no major health concerns; non-smoking; BMI <37; haematocrit >35; BP between 120/80 but less than 160/100 mmHg; at least one lipid abnormality; not any medication for blood pressure, cholesterol or glucose; F post-menopausal for at least 2 years (stable HRT or non HRT); inactive. Peripheral blood leucocytes TaqMan allelic discrimination assay using qPCR 24 wks; supervised; progressive MICT; 3×/wk.; 50–70% HRR; 20–40 min.
Thomaes, 2011, Belgium AMPD1; GR; CNTF Retrospective, single group, longitudinal. VO2peak tested pre & post intervention. N = 935 coronary artery disease patients (CAD); 76 females; Caucasian; age 56 ± 0.3 yrs.; BMI 25.8 ± 0.1 kg/m2; 5% smokers; 85% cardiac medications; 5% diabetes; 27% hypertension. Peripheral blood leucocytes Invader TM assay (third wave technologies) 3 mths; supervised; 2-3×/wk.; 80% HRmax; 90 mins/session.
Onkelinx, 2011, Belgium NOS3; Catalase; VEGF; Eco-SOD; GPX; P22Phox; PPARGC1; PPARα Retrospective, single group, longitudinal. VO2peak tested pre & post intervention. N = 935 coronary artery disease patients (CAD); 76 females; Caucasian; age 56 ± 0.3 yrs.; BMI 25.8 ± 0.1 kg/m2; 5% smokers; 85% cardiac medications; 5% diabetes; 27% hypertension. Peripheral blood leucocytes Invader TM Assay (third wave technologies) CARAGENE: 3 mths; supervised; 3×/week; 90 mins; ~ intensity = 80% (HR/peakHRx100)
Silva, 2011, Brazil NOS3 Single group, longitudinal. VO2peak tested pre & post intervention. N = 80 Portuguese police recruits; 20–35 years; BMI 23.3 ± 3.6 kg/m2; no health concerns; inactive. Peripheral blood leucocytes PCR-RFLP 18 weeks; supervised; 3×/week/ 80 mins; intensity graded to VT HR.
Timmons, 2010, UK GWAS 1: Single group, longitudinal. VO2max & muscle biopsies tested pre & post intervention; 2: Blind test. VO2max & muscle biopsies tested pre & post intervention; 3: Retrospective: HERITAGE WHITES data 1: N = 24 sedentary healthy Caucasian men (23 ± 1 yrs., 1.82 ± 0.02 m, 78.6 ± 2.7 kg); 2: 17 active & healthy Caucasian men (29 ± 6 yrs., 81.8 ± 9 kg, 1.8 ± 0.5 m); 3: HERITAGE Caucasians (as described in Bouchard 2011). Lymphoblastoid cell lines from venous blood Illumina Human CNV370-Quad Bead Chips 1: 6 weeks; supervised MICT; 4 × 45 min cycling sessions/week @ 70% VO2max.
2:12 weeks; cycle ergometer 5×/week. Peak power test performed every Mon to determine intensity for week: Tues: 3 min intervals at 85%. Pmax separated by 3 min intervals at 40% Pmax; Thurs: 8 min intervals at 85% Pmax separated by 3 min intervals at 40% Pmax; Fri: 120 min at 55% Pmax continuously; duration increased by 5%/wk.; last 6 wks duration maintained but intensity increased by 1%/week; 3: HERITAGE WHITES Study (as described in Bouchard 2011).
Jenkins, 2010, USA PLIN haplotypes Retrospective, single group, longitudinal. VO2max tested; body composition; pre & post intervention; dietary stabilisation (American Heart Association). N = 46 M & 55 F Caucasians (50–75 years); inactive; no major health concerns; BP < 160/99; non-smokers; BMI < 37 kg/m2; no meds for BP, cholesterol or glucose control; at least one lipid abnormality. Unknown TaqMan allelic discrimination assay using qPCR 24 weeks; supervised; multi-modal MICT; progressive; 3×/wk.; 20–40 min; up to 70% VO2max reached; 60 min walk home included post 12 wks.
Alves, 2009, Brazil ACE & Angiotensin Single group, longitudinal. VO2max and echocardiography of left ventricle pre and post intervention. N = 83 Brazilian policemen; age 26 years ±4.5; BMI 24 kg/m2 ± 1; healthy; normotensive. Unknown Polymerase chain reaction protocol. 17 weeks; supervised MICT; 50–80%VO2peak; 60 min × 3/week.
He, 2008a, China NRF-1 Single group, longitudinal; VO2max, VT and RE tested pre & post intervention. N = 102 Chinese male soldiers; no health concerns; age 18.8 ± 0.9 yrs.; wt 60.3 ± 6.5 kg; ht. 1.71 ± 5.8 m; no medications; non-smokers. Peripheral blood leucocytes PCR-RFLP assay 18 wks; supervised; 3×5000m running sessions/wk.; 95%–105% VT.
He, 2008b, China PPARGC1 Single group, longitudinal; VO2max, VT and RE tested pre & post intervention. N = 102 Chinese male soldiers; no health concerns; age 18.8 ± 0.9 yrs.; wt 60.3 ± 6.5 kg; ht. 1.71 ± 5.8 m; no medications; non-smokers. Peripheral blood leucocytes PCR-RFLP assay 18 wks; supervised; 3×5000m running sessions/wk.; 95%–105% VT.
He, 2007a, China TFAM Single group, longitudinal. VO2max, VT and RE tested pre & post intervention. N = 102 Chinese male soldiers; no health concerns; age 18.8 ± 0.9 yrs.; wt 60.3 ± 6.5 kg; ht. 1.71 ± 5.8 m; no medications; non-smokers. Peripheral blood leucocytes PCR-RFLP assay 18 wks; supervised; 3×5000m running sessions/wk.; 95%–105% VT.
He, 2007b, China NRF-2/NFE2L2 Single group, longitudinal. VO2max, VT and RE tested pre & post intervention. N = 102 Chinese male soldiers; no health concerns; age 18.8 ± 0.9 yrs.; wt 60.3 ± 6.5 kg; ht. 1.71 ± 5.8 m; no medications; non-smokers. Peripheral blood leucocytes PCR-RFLP assay 18 wks; supervised; 3×5000m running sessions/wk.; 95%–105% VT.
Hautala, 2007, USA PPARD Retrospective, single group, longitudinal. VO2max, body composition and lipids tested pre & post intervention. N = 477 from HERITAGE Caucasian study (183 female)
N = 264 from HERITAGE African-American study (247 female)
Unknown SNP scorer genotyping software 20 wks; supervised; progressive, MICT; 3×/wk.; 55–75% VO2max; 30–50 min.
Defoor, 2006a, Belgium ADRB1 Retrospective, single group, longitudinal. VO2peak tested pre & post intervention. N = 935 coronary artery disease patients (CAD); 76 females; Caucasian; age 56 ± 0.3 yrs.; BMI 25.8 ± 0.1 kg/m2; 5% smokers; 85% cardiac medications; 5% diabetes; 27% hypertension. Peripheral blood leucocytes Invader assay CARAGENE: 3 mths; supervised; 2-3×/wk.; 80% HRmax; 90 mins/session.
Defoor, 2006b, Belgium ACE Retrospective, single group, longitudinal. VO2peak tested pre & post intervention. N = 935 coronary artery disease patients (CAD); 76 females; Caucasian; age 56 ± 0.3 yrs.; BMI 25.8 ± 0.1 kg/m2; 5% smokers; 85% cardiac medications; 5% diabetes; 27% hypertension. Peripheral blood leucocytes Invader assay CARAGENE: 3 mths; supervised; 2-3×/wk.; 80% HRmax; 90 mins/session.
He, 2006, China HBB Retrospective, single group, longitudinal. VO2max, VT and RE tested pre & post intervention. N = 102 Chinese male soldiers; no health concerns; age 18.8 ± 0.9 yrs.; wt 60.3 ± 6.5 kg; ht. 1.71 ± 5.8 m; no medications; non-smokers Peripheral blood leucocytes PCR-RFLP assay 18 wks; supervised; 3x5000m running sessions/wk.; 95%–105% VT
Defoor, 2005 CKMM Retrospective, single group, longitudinal. VO2peak tested pre & post intervention. N = 935 coronary artery disease patients (CAD); 76 females; Caucasian; age 56 yrs. ± 0.3; BMI 25.8 kg/m2 ± 0.1; 5% smokers; 85% cardiac medications; 5% diabetes; 27% hypertension. Peripheral blood leucocytes Invader assay CARAGENE: 3 mths; supervised; 2-3×/wk.; 80% HRmax; 90 mins/session.
Leon, 2004, USA APOE Retrospective, single group, longitudinal. VO2max, blood lipids tested pre & post intervention; counselled not to alter health habits. N = 241 male and 89 female HERTIAGE Caucasians; 17–65 years; inactive; no major health concerns Lymphoblastoid cell lines from venous blood PCR-RFLP assay HERTIAGE: 20 wks; supervised; progressive MICT; 3×/wk.; 55–75% VO2max; 30–50 min.
Thompson, 2004, USA APOE Single group, longitudinal. VO2max, anthropometric data and lipid levels collected pre & post intervention; dietary control. N = 170 Caucasians (120 completed program – 60 M and F); 18–70 years (39 ± 11 years); consumed less than 2 drinks/day; physically inactive; BMI <31; no major health concerns. Peripheral blood leucocytes PCR-RFLP assay 6 months supervised progressive training; 60–80% of VO2max; increasing from 15 to 40 mins during first 4 wks. Once at 40 mins, maintained this for 4 sessions each week for 5–6 months. Multimodal but treadmill primary aerobic activity.
Rico-Sanz, 2003, Canada AMPD1 Retrospective, single group, longitudinal. VO2max, submax and submax to maximal tested pre & post intervention. N = 329 HERTAGE Caucasians and 90 HERITGAE African-Americans measured for training response; 17–65 years; inactive; no major health concerns. Unknown PCR protocol + separation on agarose gels HERITAGE: 20 wks; supervised; progressive MICT; 3×/wk.; 55–75% VO2max; 30–50 min
Prior, 2003, USA HIF1A Single group, longitudinal. VO2max tested pre & post intervention. N = 101 Caucasian and 22 African-Americans in good health; age 57.7 ± 0.91 yrs.; BMI 29.2 ± 0.64 kg/m2 Peripheral blood lymphocytes PCR-RFLP assay 24 weeks; supervised; progressive MICT; 3×/wk.; 20–40 min; 50–70% VO2max
Woods, 2002, UK ACE Single group, longitudinal. VO2max, and HR/VO2 relationship tested pre & post intervention. N = 59 Caucasians with ACE II allele and 29 without ACE DD allele; ~age 18.9 yrs.; ~ht. 1.78 m; ~ wt 73.4 kg; military camp. Peripheral blood leucocytes PCR protocol + polyacrylamide gel separation 11 weeks; supervised aerobic training; 75% squads; 35% adventurous training; 25% running and circuit training.
Murakami, 2001, Japan MtDNA Single group, longitudinal. VO2max tested pre & post intervention N = 41 Japanese M (age 20.6 ± 2.2 yrs), inactive; no major health concerns; wt 62.8 ± 7.5 kg; ht. 171.8 ± 6.7 cm. Peripheral blood leucocytes PCR-RFLP assay 8 weeks; supervised 1×/week out of 3.5; 60 min/session; 70% VO2max
Sonna, 2001, USA ACE Double-blind study. VO2peak, anthropometrics physical fitness assessment for active duty personnel tested pre and post intervention. N = 85 F and 62 M; age 21.7 ± 3.6 yrs.; 84 Caucasian, 20 Hispanic, 1 Native Americans, 5 Asian and 37 African-American; no major health concerns; BMI 23.1 ± 3.1 kg/m2; BF% 27.9 ± 6.1 F and 16.4 ± 5.7 M. Peripheral blood leucocytes PCR-RFLP assay 8 weeks supervised; 6 days/week; 2 x aerobic (sprints & 3–5 miles) & 2 x strength. Participants place in 1 of 4 ability groups so all running for same duration. Participants also completed road marches and other drills.
Rankinen, 2000a, USA Na + −K + ATPaseα Retrospective, single group, longitudinal. VO2max and max power output tested pre & post intervention. HERITAGE WHITES: 472 Caucasians; 17–65 years; inactive; no major health concerns. Lympohblastoid cell lines PCR protocol + agarose gel separation HERTIAGE: 20 wks; supervised; progressive MICT; 3×/wk.; 55–75% VO2max; 30–50 min
Rankinen,2000b, USA ACE Retrospective, single group, longitudinal. V02max, VE, VT, blood lactate, oxygen, stroke volume, carbon dioxide, HR, tested pre & post intervention (submax VO2 test for older patients). HERITAGE WHITES AND BLACKS: 476 Caucasian & 248 Blacks; 17–65 years; inactive; no major health concerns. Lympohblastoid cell lines PCR protocol + agarose gel separation HERTIAGE: 20 wks; supervised; progressive MICT; 3×/wk.; 55–75% VO2max; 30–50 min
Hagberg, USA, 1999 APOE Retrospective, single group, longitudinal. VO2max and lipid levels tested pre and post; stabilised on American Heart Association diet 8 weeks prior to intervention. N = 51; 40–80-year-old sedentary men (61 ± 3 yrs); overweight with ~BF% 30 ± 3; BP < 160/95 mmHg; no major health concerns or medications for blood lipids or glucose. Peripheral blood leucocytes PCR-RFLP assay 9 months’ endurance training; multimodal; 5–7 months supervised and last 2–4 months used heart rate monitor to ensure 70–80% VO2max intensity and 3 days/week for 45 min was complied with.
Rivera, 1999, Canada CKMM Retrospective, single group, longitudinal. VO2max tested pre & post intervention. HERITAGE WHITES: 495 Caucasians from 98 families; 17–65 years; inactive; no major health concerns. Lympohblastoid cell lines PCR-RFLP assay HERTIAGE: 20 wks; supervised; progressive MICT; 3×/wk.; 55–75% VO2max; 30–50 min
Rivera, 1997, Canada CKMM Retrospective, single group, longitudinal. VO2max tested pre & post intervention. HERITAGE WHITES: 160 Caucasian parents and 80 offspring; 17–65 years; inactive; no major health concerns. Lympohblastoid cell lines PCR-RFLP assay HERTIAGE: 20 wks; supervised; progressive MICT; 3×/wk.; 55–75% VO2max; 30–50 min
Dionne, 1991, Canada mtDNA Single group, longitudinal. VO2max tested pre & post intervention. N = 46 M from Quebec (17–27 yrs) & 27 M from Tempe (24–29 yrs); inactive Peripheral blood leucocytes PCR-RFLP assay Quebec: 20 weeks; supervised; progressive training; Max 85% HRR; max 45 min/session; 3×/wk.
Tempe: 12 weeks; supervised; progressive training; max 70–77% VO2max; max 40 min/session; 3×/wk
Bouchard, 1989, Canada AK1M
CKM
RCT. VO2max, total power output tested pre & post intervention. N = 295 M 7 F (18–30 years); healthy Caucasians Muscle biopsy and peripheral blood leucocytes Formazan technique? Group 1: 15 weeks; supervised; progressive MICT; 30–45 min/session; 3-5×/wk.; 60–85% HRR
Group 2: 15 weeks; supervised; progressive interval training; 1-2×/week; 80–85% HRR separated by 5 min recovery.
  1. M male, F female, wks weeks, mths months, wt weight, ht. height, yrs. years, BMI body mas index, BF % body fat percentage, VO 2max maximal oxygen uptake/cardiorespiratory fitness, PCR polymerase chain reaction protocol, RFLP restriction fragment length polymorphism, qPCR Quantatitive Polymerase Chain Reaction, RCT randomised controlled trial, GWAS genome wide association study, HRT hormone replacement therapy, SNP single nucleotide polymorphism, AT anaerobic threshold, MICT moderate intensity interval training, HR heart rate, HRR heart rate reserve, HR max heart rate maximum, P max maximal aerobic power, Submax submaximal, Cal/kcal calories, mtDNA mitochondrial DNA, BP blood pressure