Skeletal muscle possesses the ability to regenerate after injury, but this ability is impaired or delayed with aging. Regardless of age, muscle retains the ability to positively respond to stimuli, such as exercise. We examined whether exercise is able to improve regenerative response in skeletal muscle of aged mice. Twenty-two-month-old male C57Bl/6J mice (n = 20) underwent an 8-wk progressive exercise training protocol [old exercised (O-Ex) group]. An old sedentary (O-Sed) and a sedentary young control (Y-Ctl) group were included. Animals were subjected to injections of cardiotoxin into the tibialis anterior muscle. The tibialis anterior were harvested before [O-Ex/O-Sed/Y-Ctl control (CTL); n = 6], 10 d (O-Ex/O-Sed/Y-Ctl d 10; n = 8), and 28 d (O-Ex/O-Sed/Y-Ctl d 28; n = 6) postinjection. Average fiber cross-sectional area was reduced in all groups at d 10 (CTL: O-Ex: 2499 ± 140; O-Sed: 2320 ± 165; Y-Ctl: 2474 ± 269; d 10: O-Ex: 1191 ± 100; O-Sed: 1125 ± 99; Y-Ctl: 1481 ± 167 µm(2); P < 0.05), but was restored to control values in O-Ex and Y-Ctl groups at d 28 (O-Ex: 2257 ± 181; Y-Ctl: 2398 ± 171 µm(2); P > 0.05). Satellite cell content was greater at CTL in O-Ex (2.6 ± 0.4 satellite cells/100 fibers) compared with O-Sed (1.0 ± 0.1% satellite cells/100 fibers; P < 0.05). Exercise conditioning appears to improve ability of skeletal muscle to regenerate after injury in aged mice.-Joanisse, S., Nederveen, J. P., Baker, J. M., Snijders, T., Iacono, C., Parise, G. Exercise conditioning in old mice improves skeletal muscle regeneration.
Keywords: aging; cardiotoxin; exercise; satellite cells.