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Muscle Nerve. 2006 Feb;33(2):242-53.

Satellite cell numbers in young and older men 24 hours after eccentric exercise.

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Department of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA.


We tested the hypothesis that the expansion of satellite cell numbers, 24 h after maximal eccentric knee extensor exercise, is blunted in older men. Muscle biopsies were obtained from the vastus lateralis of 10 young (23-35 years) and 9 older (60-75 years) men. Satellite cells were identified immunohistochemically using an antibody to neural cell adhesion molecule. After 92 maximal eccentric contractions, the mean number of satellite cells per muscle fiber increased to a greater extent among the young men (141%; P < 0.001) than older men (51%; P = 0.002) from preexercise levels. Similar results were obtained when satellite cells were expressed as a proportion of all sublaminar nuclei. We conclude that a single bout of maximal eccentric exercise increases satellite cell numbers in both age groups, with a significantly greater response among the young men. These data suggest that age-related changes in satellite cell recruitment may contribute to muscle regeneration deficits among the elderly.

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