Aging is associated with a progressive loss of muscle mass, strength, and function, a condition known as sarcopenia, which represents an important risk factor for physical disability in elderly. The mechanisms leading to sarcopenia are still largely unknown, and no specific therapy is presently available to counteract its onset or progress. Many studies have stressed the importance of physical exercise as an effective approach to prevent/limit the age-related muscle mass loss. This study investigated the effects of physical training on pre-mRNA pathways in quadriceps and gastrocnemius muscles of old mice by ultrastructural cytochemistry: Structural and in situ molecular features of myonuclei and satellite cell nuclei of type II fibers were compared in exercised versus sedentary old mice, using adult individuals as control. Our results demonstrated that in myonuclei of old mice physical exercise stimulates pre-mRNA transcription, splicing, and export to the cytoplasm, likely increasing muscle protein turnover. In satellite cells, the effect of physical exercise seems to be limited to the reactivation of some factors involved in the transcriptional and splicing apparatus without increasing RNA production, probably making these quiescent cells more responsive to activating stimuli.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology