Postexercise protein metabolism in older and younger men following moderate-intensity aerobic exercise

M. Sheffield-Moore, C. W. Yeckel, E. Volpi, S. E. Wolf, B. Morio, D. L. Chinkes, D. Paddon-Jones, R. R. Wolfe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

145 Scopus citations


Regular aerobic exercise strongly influences muscle metabolism in elderly and young; however, the acute effects of aerobic exercise on protein metabolism are not fully understood. We investigated the effect of a single bout of moderate walking (45 min at ∼40% of peak O2 consumption) on postexercise (POST-EX) muscle metabolism and synthesis of plasma proteins [albumin (ALB) and fibrinogen (FIB)] in untrained older (n = 6) and younger (n = 6) men. We measured muscle phenylalanine (Phe) kinetics before (REST) and POST-EX (10, 60, and 180 min) using L-[ring-2H5] phenylalanine infusion, femoral arteriovenous blood samples, and muscle biopsies. All data are presented as the difference from REST (at 10, 60, and 180 min POST-EX). Mixed muscle fractional synthesis rate (FSR) increased significantly at 10 min POST-EX in both the younger (0.0363%/h) and older men (0.0830%/h), with the younger men staying elevated through 60 min POST-EX (0.0253%/ h). ALB FSR increased at 10 min POST-EX in the younger men only (2.30%/day), whereas FIB FSR was elevated in both groups through 180 min POST-EX (younger men = 4.149, older men = 4.107%/ day). Muscle protein turnover was also increased, with increases in synthesis and breakdown in younger and older men. Phe rate of disappearance (synthesis) was increased in both groups at 10 min POST-EX and remained elevated through 60 min POST-EX in the older men. A bout of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise induces short-term increases in muscle and plasma protein synthesis in both younger and older men. Aging per se does not diminish the protein metabolic capacity of the elderly to respond to acute aerobic exercise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E513-E522
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number3 50-3
StatePublished - Sep 2004


  • Moderate walking
  • Muscle protein synthesis
  • Plasma proteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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