We sought to examine the potential role of oxidative stress on skeletal muscle function with advancing age. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) was employed to simultaneously assess muscle perfusion (arterial spin labeling) and energetics ((31)P NMR spectroscopy) in the lower leg of young (26 + or - 5 yr, n = 6) and older (70 + or - 5 yr, n = 6) healthy volunteers following the consumption of either placebo (PL) or an oral antioxidant (AO) cocktail (vitamins C and E and alpha-lipoic acid), previously documented to decrease plasma free radical concentration. NMR measurements were made during and after 5 min of moderate intensity (approximately 5 W) plantar flexion exercise. AO administration significantly improved end-exercise perfusion (AO, 50 + or - 5, and PL, 43 + or - 4 ml x 100 g(-1) x min(-1)) and postexercise perfusion area under the curve (AO, 1,286 + or - 236, and PL, 866 + or - 144 ml/100 g) in older subjects, whereas AO administration did not alter hemodynamics in the young group. Concomitantly, muscle oxidative capacity (time constant of phosphocreatine recovery, tau) was improved following AO in the older (AO, 43 + or - 1, and PL, 51 + or - 7 s) but not the young (AO, 54 + or - 5, and PL, 48 + or - 7 s) group. These findings support the concept that oxidative stress may be partially responsible for the age-related decline in skeletal muscle perfusion during physical activity and reveal a muscle metabolic reserve capacity in the elderly that is accessible under conditions of improved perfusion.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The skeletal muscle is the second more plastic tissue of the body -second to the nervous tissue only. In fact, both physical activity and inactivity contribute to modify the skeletal muscle, by continuous signaling through nerve impulses, mechanical stimuli and humoral clues. In turn, the skeletal muscle sends signals to the body, thus contributing to its homeostasis. We'll review here the contribute of physical exercise to the shaping of skeletal muscle, to the adaptation of its mass and function to the different needs imposed by different physical activities and to the attainment of the health benefits associated with active skeletal muscles. Focus will primarily be on the molecular pathways and on gene regulation that result in skeletal muscle adaptation to exercise.
European Journal of Translational Myology 07/2013; 20(3):105-120. DOI:10.4081/bam.2010.3.105
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The influence of age on the central and peripheral contributors to exercise-induced hyperaemia is unclear. Utilizing a reductionist approach, we compared the peripheral and central haemodynamic responses to passive limb movement (exercise without an increase in metabolism) in 11 old (71 ± 9 years of age S.D.) and 11 young (24 ± 2 years of age) healthy subjects. Cardiac output (CO), heart rate (HR), stroke volume (SV), mean arterial pressure (MAP), and femoral blood flow of the passively moved and control legs were evaluated second-by-second during 2 min of passive knee extension at a rate of 1 Hz. Compared to the young, the old group exhibited a significantly attenuated increase in HR (7 ± 4% vs. 13 ± 7% S.D.), CO (10 ± 6% vs. 18 ± 8%) and femoral blood flow in the passively moved (123 ± 55% vs. 194 ± 57%) and control legs (47 ± 43% vs. 77 ± 96%). In addition, the change in vascular conductance in the passively moving limb was also significantly attenuated in the old (2.4 ± 1.2 ml min(-1) mmHg(-1)) compared to the young (4.3 ± 1.7 ml min(-1) mmHg(-1)). In both groups all main central and peripheral changes that occurred at the onset of passive knee extension were transient, lasting only 45 s. In a paradigm where metabolism does not play a role, these data reveal that both central and peripheral haemodynamic mechanisms are likely to be responsible for the 30% reduction in exercise-induced hyperaemia with age.
The Journal of Physiology 09/2010; 588(Pt 22):4507-17. DOI:10.1113/jphysiol.2010.198770 · 5.04 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acute ascorbic acid (AA) administration increases muscle blood flow during dynamic exercise in older adults, and this is associated with improved endothelium-dependent vasodilation. We directly tested the hypothesis that increase in muscle blood flow during AA administration is mediated via endothelium-derived vasodilators nitric oxide (NO) and prostaglandins (PGs). In 14 healthy older adults (64 ± 3 yr), we measured forearm blood flow (FBF; Doppler ultrasound) during rhythmic handgrip exercise at 10% maximum voluntary contraction. After 5-min steady-state exercise with saline, AA was infused via brachial artery catheter for 10 min during continued exercise, and this increased FBF ∼25% from 132 ± 16 to 165 ± 20 ml/min (P < 0.05). AA was infused for the remainder of the study. Next, subjects performed a 15-min exercise bout in which AA + saline was infused for 5 min, followed by 5 min of the nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitor N(G)-monomethyl-l-arginine (l-NMMA) and then 5 min of the cyclooxygenase inhibitor ketorolac (group 1). The order of inhibition was reversed in eight subjects (group 2). In group 1, independent NOS inhibition reduced steady-state FBF by ∼20% (P < 0.05), and subsequent PG inhibition had no impact on FBF (Δ 3 ± 5%). Similarly, in group 2, independent PG inhibition had little effect on FBF (Δ -4 ± 4%), whereas subsequent NO inhibition significantly decreased FBF by ∼20% (P < 0.05). In a subgroup of five subjects, we inhibited NO and PG synthesis before AA administration. In these subjects, there was a minimal nonsignificant improvement in FBF with AA infusion (Δ 7 ± 3%; P = nonsignificant vs. zero). Together, our data indicate that the increase in muscle blood flow during dynamic exercise with acute AA administration in older adults is mediated primarily via an increase in the bioavailability of NO derived from the NOS pathway.
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