Obesity is increasing, yet despite the necessity of maintaining muscle mass and function with age, the effect of obesity on muscle protein turnover in older adults remains unknown. Eleven obese (BMI 31.9 ± 1.1 kg $ m-2) and 15 healthy-weight (BMI 23.4 ± 0.3 kg $ m-2) oldermen (55-75 years old) participated in a study that determined muscle protein synthesis (MPS) and leg protein breakdown (LPB) under postabsorptive (hypoinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp) and postprandial (hyperinsulinemic hyperaminoacidemiceuglycemic clamp) conditions. Obesity was associated with systemic inflammation, greater leg fat mass, and patterns of mRNA expression consistent with muscle deconditioning, whereas leg lean mass, strength, and work done during maximal exercise were no different. Under postabsorptive conditions, MPS and LPB were equivalent between groups, whereas insulin and amino acid administration increased MPS in only healthy-weight subjects and was associated with lower leg glucose disposal (LGD) (63%) in obese men. Blunting of MPS in the obese men was offset by an apparent decline in LPB, which was absent in healthy-weight subjects. Lower postprandial LGD in obese subjects and blunting of MPS responses to amino acids suggest that obesity in older adults is associated with diminished muscle metabolic quality. This does not, however, appear to be associated with lower leg lean mass or strength.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism