Ageing is associated with a loss of skeletal muscle performance, a condition referred to as sarcopenia. In part, the age-related reduction in performance is due to a selective loss of muscle fiber mass, but mass-independent effects have also been demonstrated. An important mass-independent determinant of muscle performance is the pattern of expression of isoforms of proteins that participate in muscle contraction (e.g., the troponins). In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that ageing impairs alternative splicing of the pre-mRNA encoding fast skeletal muscle troponin T (TNNT3) in human vastus lateralis muscle. Furthermore, we hypothesized that resistance exercise alone or in combination with consumption of essential amino acids would attenuate age-associated effects on TNNT3 alternative splicing. Our results indicate that ageing negatively affects the pattern of TNNT3 alternative splicing in a manner that correlates quantitatively with age-associated reductions in muscle performance. Interestingly, whereas vastus lateralis TNNT3 alternative splicing was unaffected by a bout of resistance exercise 24 h prior to muscle biopsy, ingestion of a mixture of essential amino acids after resistance exercise resulted in a significant shift in the pattern of TNNT3 splice form expression in both age groups to one predicted to promote greater muscle performance. We conclude that essential amino acid supplementation after resistance exercise may provide a means to reduce impairments in skeletal muscle quality during ageing in humans.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics
- Physiology (medical)