Sedentary aging increases resting and exercise-induced intramuscular free radical formation

D.M. Bailey, Jane McEneny, O.M. Costello, R.R. Henry, P.E. James, J.M. McCord, S. Pietri, Ian Young, R.S. Richardson

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Mitochondrial free radical formation has been implicated as a potential mechanism underlying degenerative senescence, although human data are lacking. Therefore, the present study was designed to examine if resting and exercise-induced intramuscular free radical-mediated lipid peroxidation is indeed increased across the spectrum of sedentary aging. Biopsies were obtained from the vastus lateralis in six young (26 ± 6 yr) and six aged (71 ± 6 yr) sedentary males at rest and after maximal knee extensor exercise. Aged tissue exhibited greater (P < 0.05 vs. the young group) electron paramagnetic resonance signal intensity of the mitochondrial ubisemiquinone radical both at rest (+138 ± 62%) and during exercise (+143 ± 40%), and this was further complemented by a greater increase in a-phenyl-tert-butylnitrone adducts identified as a combination of lipid-derived alkoxyl-alkyl radicals (+295 ± 96% and +298 ± 120%). Lipid hydroperoxides were also elevated at rest (0.190 ± 0.169 vs. 0.148 ± 0.071 nmol/mg total protein) and during exercise (0.567 ± 0.259 vs. 0.320 ± 0.263 nmol/mg total protein) despite a more marked depletion of ascorbate and uptake of a/ß-carotene, retinol, and lycopene (P < 0.05 vs. the young group). The impact of senescence was especially apparent when oxidative stress biomarkers were expressed relative to the age-related decline in mitochondrial volume density and absolute power output at maximal exercise. In conclusion, these findings confirm that intramuscular free radical-mediated lipid peroxidation is elevated at rest and during acute exercise in aged humans.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-456
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number2
Early online date27 May 2010
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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