Biochemical changes in response to intensive resistance exercise training in the elderly

  • Bautmans I
  • Njemini R
  • Vasseur S
 et al. 
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BACKGROUND: It is assumed that low-grade inflammation, characterized by increased circulating IL-6 and TNF-alpha, is related to the development of sarcopenia. Physical exercise, especially high intensity resistance training, has been shown to be effective in restoring the strength deficit in the elderly. Intensive exercise is accompanied by significant release of IL-6 and TNF-alpha into the blood circulation, but does not result in muscle wasting. Exercise-induced changes in heat-shock protein (Hsp), responsible for cellular protection during stressful situations, might interfere with the acute phase reaction and muscle adaptation. OBJECTIVE: To investigate if intensive strength training in elderly persons induces changes in Hsp70 expression, and if these changes are related to changes in the acute phase reaction or muscle adaptation. METHODS: 31 elderly persons (aged 68.4+/-5.4 years) performed 6 weeks' intensive strength training. At baseline and after 6 weeks, muscle strength, functional performance (physical activity profile, 6-min walk, 30- second chair stand, grip strength, chair sit & reach and back scratch), linear isokinetic leg extension, circulating IL-6, TNF-alpha, IL-10 and TGF-beta, and Hsp70 in monocytes (M) and lymphocytes (L) immediately after sampling (IAS), after incubation at 37 and 42 degrees C were determined. In 12 participants, cytokines were determined in untrained and trained conditions before and after a single training session. RESULTS: After 6 weeks' training, muscle strength and functional performance improved significantly, together with decreased Hsp70 IAS and Hsp70 37 degrees C and increased Hsp70 42 degrees C (all p

Author-supplied keywords

  • Acute phase mediators
  • Acute phase reaction
  • Elderly, strength training
  • Heat-shock protein
  • Immune response
  • Physical exercise

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  • Ivan Bautmans

  • Rose Njemini

  • Sabine Vasseur

  • Hans Chabert

  • Lisa Moens

  • Christian Demanet

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