Prolonged exercise training improves the acute type II muscle fibre satellite cell response in healthy older men
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KEY POINTS: Skeletal muscle stem cells, termed satellite cells, play a crucial role in repair and remodelling of muscle in response to exercise An age-related decline in satellite cell number and/or function has been hypothesized to be a key factor in the development of sarcopenia and/or the blunted muscle fibre adaptive response to prolonged exercise training in older persons We report that performing prolonged exercise training improves the acute type II muscle fibre satellite cell response following a single bout of resistance exercise in older men. The observed improvement in muscle satellite function is associated with an increase in muscle fibre capillarization following exercise training suggesting a possible functional link between capillarization and satellite cell function. ABSTRACT: Age-related type II muscle fibre atrophy is accompanied by a fibre type-specific decline in satellite cell number and function. Exercise training restores satellite cell quantity in older adults; however, whether it can restore the impaired satellite cell response to exercise in older adults remains unknown. Therefore we assessed the acute satellite cell response to a single exercise session before and after prolonged exercise training in older men. Fourteen older men (74 ± 8 years) participated in a 12-week exercise training programme (resistance exercise performed twice per week, high intensity interval training once per week). Before and after training, percutaneous biopsies from the vastus lateralis muscle were taken prior to and following 24 and 48 h of post-exercise recovery. Muscle fibre characteristics were evaluated by immunohistochemistry and mRNA expression by RT-PCR. Whereas no changes were observed in type II muscle fibres, type I muscle fibre satellite cell content increased significantly at 24 and 48 h after a single bout of resistance exercise before the exercise training programme (P < 0.01). Following the exercise training programme, both type I and type II muscle fibre satellite cell content increased significantly at 24 and 48 h after a single bout of resistance exercise (P < 0.05). The greater acute increase in type II muscle fibre satellite cell content at 24 h post-exercise recovery after training was correlated with an increase in type II muscle fibre capillarization (r = 0.671, P = 0.012). We show that the acute muscle satellite cell response following exercise can be improved by prolonged exercise training in older men.
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