Maximus Peto’s Commentary
These researchers compared changes in exercise metabolites in young and old humans and found some very high correlations between the age-related increase in power loss during exercise and several metabolites (including intracellular pH, phosphate, and diprotonated phosphate). This makes me wonder: what age-related, stable, accumulating damage could be causing this apparent failure to clear these muscle contraction metabolites in aged human muscle?
Bioenergetic basis for the increased fatigability with ageing.
J Physiol. 2019 Oct;597(19):4943-4957.
Sundberg CW, Prost RW, Fitts RH, Hunter SK
PubMed publication date (edat): 4/25/2019
The present study aimed to determine whether the increased fatigability in old adults during dynamic exercise is associated with age-related differences in skeletal muscle bioenergetics. Phosphorus nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy was used to quantify concentrations of high-energy phosphates and pH in the knee extensors of seven young (22.7 ± 1.2 years; six women) and eight old adults (76.4 ± 6.0 years; seven women). Muscle oxidative capacity was measured from the phosphocreatine (PCr) recovery kinetics following a 24 s maximal voluntary isometric contraction. The fatiguing exercise consisted of 120 maximal velocity contractions (one contraction per 2 s) against a load equivalent to 20% of the maximal voluntary isometric contraction. The PCr recovery kinetics did not differ between young and old adults (0.023 ± 0.007 s-1 vs. 0.019 ± 0.004 s-1 , respectively). Fatigability (reductions in mechanical power) of the knee extensors was ∼1.8-fold greater with age and was accompanied by a greater decrease in pH (young = 6.73 ± 0.09, old = 6.61 ± 0.04) and increases in concentrations of inorganic phosphate, [Pi ], (young = 22.7 ± 4.8 mm, old = 32.3 ± 3.6 mm) and diprotonated phosphate, [H2 PO4 – ], (young = 11.7 ± 3.6 mm, old = 18.6 ± 2.1 mm) at the end of the exercise in old compared to young adults. The age-related increase in power loss during the fatiguing exercise was strongly associated with intracellular pH (r = -0.837), [Pi ] (r = 0.917) and [H2 PO4 – ] (r = 0.930) at the end of the exercise. These data suggest that the age-related increase in fatigability during dynamic exercise has a bioenergetic basis and is explained by an increased accumulation of metabolites within the muscle.