Deterioration of contractile properties of muscle fibres in elderly subjects is modulated by the level of physical activity

Giuseppe D'Antona, Maria Antonietta Pellegrino, Carmine Naccari Carlizzi, Roberto Bottinelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The impact of ageing on force and velocity of human skeletal muscle fibres has been extensively studied. As discrepancies have been reported, it is still unclear whether or not a deterioration of the capacity of muscle fibres to develop force and shortening is involved in determining weakness and decrease in shortening velocity of skeletal muscle of elderly people. We compared myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoform distribution of vastus lateralis muscle, and specific force (Po/CSA) and maximum shortening velocity (Vo) of skeletal muscle fibres among one population of young controls (CTRL) and three populations of elderly (EL) subjects with very variable levels of physical activity: sedentary (EL-SED, n = 3); controls (EL-CTRL, n = 4); endurance trained (EL-END, n = 3). Muscle phenotype was progressively faster in the order EL-END → CTRL → EL-CTRL → EL-SED. Po/CSA and Vo also varied among the different populations of elderly subjects generally showing a decreasing deterioration with increasing activity levels. The results suggest that discrepancies observed so far in age-induced deterioration of contractile properties of muscle fibres could depend on the different activity levels of the populations of elderly subjects enrolled in the studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)603-611
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Volume100
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007

Keywords

  • Ageing
  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • Myosin isoforms
  • Skinned fibres

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physiology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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