Muscle protein anabolic resistance to essential amino acids does not occur in healthy older adults before or after resistance exercise training

Tatiana Moro, Camille R. Brightwell, Rachel R. Deer, Ted G. Graber, Elfego Galvan, Christopher S. Fry, Elena Volpi, Blake B. Rasmussen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The muscle protein anabolic response to contraction and feeding may be blunted in older adults. Acute bouts of exercise can improve the ability of amino acids to stimulate muscle protein synthesis (MPS) by activating mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signaling, but it is not known whether exercise training may improve muscle sensitivity to amino acid availability. Objective: The aim of this study was to determine if muscle protein anabolism is resistant to essential amino acids (EAAs) and whether resistance exercise training (RET) improves muscle sensitivity to EAA in healthy older adults. Methods: In a longitudinal study, 19 healthy older adults [mean ± SD age: 71 ± 4 y body mass index (kg/m 2 ): 28 ± 3] were trained for 12 wk with a whole-body program of progressive RET (60-75% 1-repetition maximum). Body composition, strength, and metabolic health were measured pre- and posttraining. We also performed stable isotope infusion experiments with muscle biopsies pre- and posttraining to measure MPS and markers of amino acid sensing in the basal state and in response to 6.8 g of EAA ingestion. Results: RET increased muscle strength by 16%, lean mass by 2%, and muscle cross-sectional area by 27% in healthy older adults (P < 0.05). MPS and mTORC1 signaling (i.e., phosphorylation status of protein kinase B, 4E binding protein 1, 70-kDa S6 protein kinase, and ribosomal protein S6) increased after EAA ingestion (P < 0.05) pre- and posttraining. RET increased basal MPS by 36% (P < 0.05); however, RET did not affect the response of MPS and mTORC1 signaling to EAA ingestion. Conclusions: RET increases strength and basal MPS, promoting hypertrophy in healthy older adults. In these subjects, a small dose of EAAs stimulates muscle mTORC1 signaling and MPS, and this response to EAAs does not improve after RET. Our data indicate that anabolic resistance to amino acids may not be a problem in healthy older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)900-909
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Volume148
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Anabolic resistance
  • MTOR
  • Muscle protein synthesis
  • Resistance training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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