Does the aging skeletal muscle maintain its endocrine function?

Journal Article

Contracting skeletal muscles produce and release the cytokine interleukin (IL)-6 and this release is augmented by the presence of low muscle glycogen. Since muscle metabolism in elderly subjects relies on glycogen more than younger subjects, it is possible that aging is associated with an altered production of muscle-derived IL-6 during exercise. To test the relation between aging and muscle-derived IL-6, seven healthy elderly males, mean age 70+/-1 (SEM) yr and six healthy young males, mean age 26+/-2 (SEM) yr performed three hours of dynamic knee-extensor exercise at 50% of maximal work load (Wmax). IL-6 mRNA and glycogen in muscles were analysed and the IL-6 release were estimated before, during and after the exercise. Although the absolute work load in the elderly was less than half of that in the young, 41.1+/-3.1 W and 92.5+/-4.0 W, respectively, the muscle glycogen utilization after three hours of exercise did not differ between groups, 238.7+/-52.4 and 245.2+/-74.0 mmol/kg muscle in elderly and young, respectively. This could explain that the IL-6 release and the IL-6 mRNA amplification increased during exercise with no difference between groups, two-way ANOVA-P = 0.50 and 0.45, respectively. In conclusion, elderly healthy people maintain the capacity to produce and release IL-6 in response to dynamic exercise, with no difference compared to young individuals furthermore, glycogen utilization expressed in changes of glycogen related to muscle mass was equal in elderly and young subject at 50 % of Wmax.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Pedersen, M; Steensberg, A; Keller, C; Osada, T; Zacho, M; Saltin, B; Febbraio, MA; Pedersen, BK

Published Date

  • 2004

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 10 /

Start / End Page

  • 42 - 55

PubMed ID

  • 15633585

Pubmed Central ID

  • 15633585

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1077-5552


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Germany