Strategies to augment muscle mass in elderly; the role of exercise, nutrition, and muscle stem cells

C.P.G.M. de Groot, L.J.C. van Loon, L. Verdijk, T. Snijders, C.A.B. Tieland

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstractAcademic


Sarcopenia is characterized by a progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass, strength, and physical performance. Whereas the cause of sarcopenia is multi-factorial and includes a sedentary lifestyle and inadequate protein intake, actual loss of muscle tissue is ultimately attributed to an imbalance between muscle protein synthesis and breakdown rates. It has been reported that the responsiveness of the muscle protein synthetic machinery to the anabolic stimuli of physical activity and food (protein) intake may be attenuated in the elderly. To overcome this so-called “anabolic resistance”, current research focuses on both acute and long-term nutritional and exercise interventions to maximally stimulate postprandial muscle protein synthesis rates, and ultimately counteract the loss of muscle mass and function in the elderly. Apart from inadequate nutrition and physical inactivity, a reduction in the number and/or function of skeletal muscle stem cells (or satellite cells) has been suggested to contribute to the development of sarcopenia. Furthermore, the ability to properly activate, proliferate and differentiate satellite cells and, as such, incorporate newly formed myonuclei, likely plays a key role in determining the potential for skeletal muscle fiber hypertrophy following prolonged exercise training. In the present symposium, we will give young scientists in the field the opportunity to present an overview of some of the recent findings from various acute and long-term studies in humans. First, the acute effects of different nutritional strategies and the impact of exercise on muscle protein synthesis will be addressed. Secondly, changes in satellite cell content and function will be discussed in relation to both muscle atrophy and muscle hypertrophy in the elderly. Finally, the benefits of more prolonged exercise and nutritional interventions for muscle mass and function in the elderly will be presented.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the ICFSR
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventInternational Conference on Frailty and Sarcopenia Research, Barcelona, Spain -
Duration: 12 Mar 201414 Mar 2014


ConferenceInternational Conference on Frailty and Sarcopenia Research, Barcelona, Spain


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