Normal ribosomal biogenesis but shortened protein synthetic response to acute eccentric resistance exercise in old skeletal muscle

Daniel W.D. West, George R. Marcotte, Courtney M. Chason, Natalie Juo, Leslie M. Baehr, Sue C. Bodine, Keith Baar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Anabolic resistance to feeding in aged muscle is well-characterized; however, whether old skeletal muscle is intrinsically resistant to acute mechanical loading is less clear. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of aging on muscle protein synthesis (MPS), ribosome biogenesis, and protein breakdown in skeletal muscle following a single bout of resistance exercise. Adult male F344/BN rats aged 10 (Adult) and 30 (Old) months underwent unilateral maximal eccentric contractions of the hindlimb. Precursor rRNA increased early post-exercise (6-18 h), preceding elevations in ribosomal mass at 48 h in Adult and Old; there were no age-related differences in these responses. MPS increased early post-exercise in both Adult and Old; however, at 48 h of recovery, MPS returned to baseline in Old but not Adult. This abbreviated protein synthesis response in Old was associated with decreased levels of IRS1 protein and increased BiP, CHOP and eIF2α levels. Other than these responses, anabolic signaling was similar in Adult and Old muscle in the acute recovery phase. Basal proteasome activity was lower in Old, and resistance exercise did not increase the activity of either the ATP-dependent or independent proteasome, or autophagy (Cathepsin L activity) in either Adult or Old muscle. We conclude that MPS and ribosome biogenesis in response to maximal resistance exercise in old skeletal muscle are initially intact; however, the MPS response is abbreviated in Old, which may be the result of ER stress and/or blunted exercise-induced potentiation of the MPS response to feeding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1915
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
Issue numberJAN
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Anabolic resistance
  • ER stress
  • IRS-1 signaling
  • Ribosome biogenesis
  • Sarcopenia
  • Ubiquitin proteasome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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