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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2012 May;112(10):1625-36. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00435.2011. Epub 2012 Feb 2.

Transcriptome signature of resistance exercise adaptations: mixed muscle and fiber type specific profiles in young and old adults.

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  • 1Human Performance Laboratory, Ball State University, Muncie, IN 47306, USA.


This investigation examined the effects of acute resistance exercise (RE), progressive resistance training (PRT), and age on the human skeletal muscle Transcriptome. Two cohorts of young and old adults [study A: 24 yr, 84 yr (n = 28); study B: 25 yr, 78 yr (n = 36)] were studied. Vastus lateralis biopsies were obtained pre- and 4 h post-RE in conjunction with the 1st and 36th (last) training session as part of a 12-wk PRT program in study A, whereas biopsies were obtained in the basal untrained state in study B. Additionally, the muscle fiber type specific (MHC I and MHC IIa) Transcriptome response to RE was examined in a subset of young and old women from study A. Transcriptome profiling was performed using HG U133 Plus 2.0 Arrays. The main findings were 1) there were 661 genes affected by RE during the 1st and 36th training bout that correlated with gains in muscle size and strength with PRT (termed the Transcriptome signature of resistance exercise adaptations); 2) the RE gene response was most pronounced in fast-twitch (MHC IIa) muscle fibers and provided additional insight into the skeletal muscle biology affected by RE; 3) skeletal muscle of young adults is more responsive to RE at the gene level compared with old adults and age also affected basal level skeletal muscle gene expression. These skeletal muscle Transcriptome findings provide further insight into the molecular basis of sarcopenia and the impact of resistance exercise at the mixed muscle and fiber type specific level.

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