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      Anabolic signaling deficits underlie amino acid resistance of wasting, aging muscle

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          The nature of the deficit underlying age-related muscle wasting remains controversial. To test whether it could be due to a poor anabolic response to dietary amino acids, we measured the rates of myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic muscle protein synthesis (MPS) in 44 healthy young and old men, of similar body build, after ingesting different amounts of essential amino acids (EAA). Basal rates of MPS were indistinguishable, but the elderly showed less anabolic sensitivity and responsiveness of MPS to EAA, possibly due to decreased intramuscular expression, and activation (phosphorylation) after EAA, of amino acid sensing/signaling proteins (mammalian target of rapamycin, mTOR; p70 S6 kinase, or p70(S6k); eukaryotic initiation factor [eIF]4BP-1; and eIF2B). The effects were independent of insulin signaling since plasma insulin was clamped at basal values. Associated with the anabolic deficits were marked increases in NFkappaB, the inflammation-associated transcription factor. These results demonstrate first, EAA stimulate MPS independently of increased insulin availability; second, in the elderly, a deficit in MPS in the basal state is unlikely; and third, the decreased sensitivity and responsiveness of MPS to EAA, associated with decrements in the expression and activation of components of anabolic signaling pathways, are probably major contributors to the failure of muscle maintenance in the elderly. Countermeasures to maximize muscle maintenance should target these deficits.

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          Appendicular skeletal muscle mass: effects of age, gender, and ethnicity.

          This study tested the hypothesis that skeletal muscle mass is reduced in elderly women and men after adjustment first for stature and body weight. The hypothesis was evaluated by estimating appendicular skeletal muscle mass with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry in a healthy adult cohort. A second purpose was to test the hypothesis that whole body 40K counting-derived total body potassium (TBK) is a reliable indirect measure of skeletal muscle mass. The independent effects on both appendicular skeletal muscle and TBK of gender (n = 148 women and 136 men) and ethnicity (n = 152 African-Americans and 132 Caucasians) were also explored. Main findings were 1) for both appendicular skeletal muscle mass (total, leg, and arm) and TBK, age was an independent determinant after adjustment first by stepwise multiple regression for stature and weight (multiple regression model r2 = approximately 0.60); absolute decrease with greater age in men was almost double that in women; significantly larger absolute amounts were observed in men and African-Americans after adjustment first for stature, weight, and age; and >80% of within-gender or -ethnic group between-individual component variation was explained by stature, weight, age, gender, and ethnicity differences; and 2) most of between-individual TBK variation could be explained by total appendicular skeletal muscle (r2 = 0.865), whereas age, gender, and ethnicity were small but significant additional covariates (total r2 = 0.903). Our study supports the hypotheses that skeletal muscle is reduced in the elderly and that TBK provides a reasonable indirect assessment of skeletal muscle mass. These findings provide a foundation for investigating skeletal muscle mass in a wide range of health-related conditions.
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            Human muscle protein synthesis is modulated by extracellular, not intramuscular amino acid availability: a dose-response study.

            To test the hypothesis that muscle protein synthesis (MPS) is regulated by the concentration of extracellular amino acids, we investigated the dose-response relationship between the rate of human MPS and the concentrations of blood and intramuscular amino acids. We increased blood mixed amino acid concentrations by up to 240 % above basal levels by infusion of mixed amino acids (Aminosyn 15, 44-261 mg kg-1 h-1) in 21 healthy subjects, (11 men 10 women, aged 29 +/- 2 years) and measured the rate of incorporation of D5-phenylalanine or D3-leucine into muscle protein and blood and intramuscular amino acid concentrations. The relationship between the fold increase in MPS and blood essential amino acid concentration ([EAA], mM) was hyperbolic and fitted the equation MPS = (2.68 x [EAA])/(1.51 + [EAA]) (P < 0.01). The pattern of stimulation of myofibrillar, sarcoplasmic and mitochondrial protein was similar. There was no clear relationship between the rate of MPS and the concentration of intramuscular EAAs; indeed, when MPS was increasing most rapidly, the concentration of intramuscular EAAs was below basal levels. We conclude that the rates of synthesis of all classes of muscle proteins are acutely regulated by the blood [EAA] over their normal diurnal range, but become saturated at high concentrations. We propose that the stimulation of protein synthesis depends on the sensing of the concentration of extracellular, rather than intramuscular EAAs.
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              Age-related inflammatory cytokines and disease.

              Aging is associated with chronic low-grade increases in circulating levels of inflammatory markers. A wide range of environmental factors, including smoking, infections, and obesity, genetic factors, and the declining function of sex hormones may contribute to systemic low-grade inflammatory activity in older individuals. Age-associated disease may exacerbate this phenomenon. The multifunctional cytokines TNF-alpha and IL-6 have been associated with morbidity and mortality in the elderly. Evidence supports the direct role of TNF-alpha in the pathogeneses of atherosclerosis, type 2 DM, and AD in older individuals. Age-related increases in systemic levels of TNF-alpha could provide a unifying basis for these disorders. Furthermore, TNF-alpha induces a catabolic state that causes frailty. Circulating levels of IL-6 seem to be a strong risk factor for frailty in the elderly, which could reflect its association with increased production of TNF-alpha. IL-6 also may be a risk factor for thromboembolic complications. In healthy, elderly populations, high circulating levels of TNF-alpha and IL-6 predict mortality, independent of comorbidity, indicating that TNF-alpha and IL-6 cause morbidity and mortality. In cohorts of frail, older individuals, TNF-alpha and IL-6 also act as disease markers. Circulating levels of TNF-alpha seem to be the best predictor of mortality in frail, elderly populations with a high mortality rate, whereas IL-6 seems to be the strongest risk marker in healthy, elderly populations. This finding could reflect that in relatively healthy old populations the increase in circulating levels of IL-6 represent a systemic response to local proinflammatory activities; however, when age-related inflammatory diseases progress, levels of TNF-alpha increase in the circulation and become gradually a stronger risk marker than IL-6. In conclusion low-grade elevations in levels of circulating cytokines are strong independent risk factors of morbidity and mortality in the elderly, and lifestyle factors and comorbidities may modulate these levels. Exercise and dietary interventions may be possible strategies to decrease inflammatory activity and improve the health status of the elderly.

                Author and article information

                The FASEB Journal
                FASEB j.
                December 20 2004
                March 2005
                December 13 2004
                March 2005
                : 19
                : 3
                : 1-22
                [1 ]Division of Molecular PhysiologySchool of Life SciencesUniversity of Dundee Dundee Scotland UK DD1 4HN
                [2 ]Department of MedicineNinewells HospitalMedical SchoolTayside NHS Trust Dundee DD1 9ST
                [3 ]University of NottinghamSchool of Biomedical SciencesDivision of Clinical PhysiologyGraduate Entry Medical SchoolCity Hospital Derby DE22 3DT United Kingdom
                [4 ]Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of Central Lancashire Preston PR1 2HE
                © 2005




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