The Effects of Sarcopenia on Muscles with Different Recruitment Patterns and Myofiber Profiles

Author(s): Michael R. Deschenes, Jennifer R. Gaertner, Shaelyn O’Reilly

Journal Name: Current Aging Science

Volume 6 , Issue 3 , 2013

Become EABM
Become Reviewer
Call for Editor


Sarcopenia, or the age-related loss of muscle size/mass, is a major health concern in western societies where aging is prevalent. Currently, more is known about sarcopenia’s impact on health and quality of life, than its physiological etiology. It remains to be clearly determined whether the onset and progression of sarcopenia is similar throughout the body (systemic), or is more localized to certain muscles and myofiber types comprising those muscles (local). The objective of this project was to quantify the systemic vs. local nature of sarcopenia. Three muscles of different myofiber type composition and/or function (Soleus, Plantaris, EDL) were collected from 10 young adult rats, and 10 aged rats. Immunohistochemical procedures were then performed on frozen muscle sections to determine average myofiber size, fiber type composition, and relative areas of muscles occupied by each myofiber type. Significant (P ≤ 0.05) overall age-related myofiber atrophy occurred in the predominantly fast-twitch, non-postural Plantaris and EDL muscles, but not in the primarily slow-twitch, postural Soleus. Moreover, age-related atrophy was significantly (~100%) greater in the EDL than the Plantaris. Age-related myofiber type conversion also demonstrated muscle specificity in that all fiber types were affected in the Soleus, compared to three of the four myofiber types of the Plantaris, and only one of the four myofiber types identified in the EDL. In sum, these data suggest that although sarcopenia may be ubiquitous among skeletal muscles, the degree of its impact displays specificity based not only on myofiber type composition, but also on muscle function.

Keywords: Aging, atrophy, EDL, immunohistochemistry, plantaris, senescence, soleus.

Rights & PermissionsPrintExport Cite as

Article Details

Year: 2013
Page: [266 - 272]
Pages: 7
DOI: 10.2174/18746098113066660035
Price: $65

Article Metrics

PDF: 42