Fast-Twitch Glycolytic Skeletal Muscle Is Predisposed to Age-Induced Impairments in Mitochondrial Function

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Abstract

The etiology of mammalian senescence is suggested to involve the progressive impairment of mitochondrial function; however, direct observations of age-induced alterations in actual respiratory chain function are lacking. Accordingly, we assessed mitochondrial function via high-resolution respirometry and mitochondrial protein expression in soleus, quadricep, and lateral gastrocnemius skeletal muscles, which represent type 1 slow-twitch oxidative muscle (soleus) and type 2 fast-twitch glycolytic muscle (quadricep and gastrocnemius), respectively, in young (10–12 weeks) and mature (74–76 weeks) mice. Electron transport through mitochondrial complexes I and III increases with age in quadricep and gastrocnemius, which is not observed in soleus. Mitochondrial coupling efficiency during respiration through complex I also deteriorates with age in gastrocnemius and shows a tendency (p = .085) to worsen in quadricep. These data demonstrate actual alterations in electron transport function that occurs with age and are dependent on skeletal muscle type.

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