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Aging and its effects on inflammation in skeletal muscle at rest and following exercise-induced muscle injury
journal contributionposted on 2010-06-01, 00:00 authored by J Peake, Paul Della GattaPaul Della Gatta, David Cameron-Smith
The world's elderly population is expanding rapidly, and we are now faced with the significant challenge of maintaining or improving physical activity, independence, and quality of life in the elderly. Counteracting the progressive loss of muscle mass that occurs in the elderly, known as sarcopenia, represents a major hurdle in achieving these goals. Indirect evidence for a role of inflammation in sarcopenia is that markers of systemic inflammation correlate with the loss of muscle mass and strength in the elderly. More direct evidence is that compared with skeletal muscle of young people, the number of macrophages is lower, the gene expression of several cytokines is higher, and stress signaling proteins are activated in skeletal muscle of elderly people at rest. Sarcopenia may also result from inadequate repair and chronic maladaptation following muscle injury in the elderly. Macrophage infiltration and the gene expression of certain cytokines are reduced in skeletal muscle of elderly people compared with young people following exercise-induced muscle injury. Further research is required to identify the cause(s) of inflammation in skeletal muscle of elderly people. Additional work is also needed to expand our understanding of the cells, proteins, and transcription factors that regulate inflammation in the skeletal muscle of elderly people at rest and after exercise. This knowledge is critical for devising strategies to restrict sarcopenia, and improve the health of today's elderly population.