Enhanced satellite cell proliferation with resistance training in elderly men and women

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In addition to the well-documented loss of muscle mass and strength associated with aging, there is evidence for the attenuating effects of aging on the number of satellite cells in human skeletal muscle. The aim of this study was to investigate the response of satellite cells in elderly men and women to 12 weeks of resistance training. Biopsies were collected from the m. vastus lateralis of 13 healthy elderly men and 16 healthy elderly women (mean age 76±SD 3 years) before and after the training period. Satellite cells were visualized by immunohistochemical staining of muscle cross-sections with a monoclonal antibody against neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) and counterstaining with Mayer's hematoxylin. Compared with the pre-training values, there was a significant increase (P<0.05) in the number of NCAM-positively stained cells per fiber post-training in males (from 0.11±0.03 to 0.15±0.06; mean±SD) and females (from 0.11±0.04 to 0.13±0.05). These results suggest that 12 weeks of resistance training is effective in enhancing the satellite cell pool in skeletal muscle in the elderly.

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