Image_2_Macrophage Subpopulations and the Acute Inflammatory Response of Elderly Human Skeletal Muscle to Physiological Resistance Exercise.jpeg
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The current model for repair of damaged tissue includes immune cells, mediating the progression from a pro-inflammatory to an anti-inflammatory environment. How this process changes with aging in human skeletal muscle under conditions of physiological exercise loading remains unclear. To investigate this, 25 elderly males (mean age 70 ± SD 7 years), as well as 12 young (23 ± 3 years) and 12 elderly (74 ± 3 years) females, performed a unilateral bout of heavy resistance leg extension exercise. Biopsies were collected from the vastus lateralis muscle of the rested (control) leg, and post exercise from the exercised leg at 4.5 h, and on days 1, 4, and 7 for the male participants, or on day 5 for the female participants. Total macrophages (CD68+) as well as pro- (CD11b+) and anti-inflammatory (CD163+, CD206+) subpopulations were identified on sections by immunohistochemistry. Gene expression levels of COL1A1, TNF-a, CD68, myostatin, TCF7L2, IL-1B, IL-1R, IL-10, and Ki67 were determined by real-time RT-PCR. At rest, the muscle tissue from the elderly vs. young females was characterized by higher gene expression levels of CD68, IL-10, lower myostatin mRNA, and trends for a greater number of macrophages, while COL1A1 mRNA post exercise values were greater in the elderly vs young. For the male participants, mRNA levels of the inflammatory cytokines IL-1B, IL-1R were elevated in the early phase following exercise, followed by increases in COL1A1 and Ki67 on days 4 and 7. In general, exercise induced increases in all types of macrophages counted in the elderly, but not in young, individuals. Cells expressing CD68, CD11b, and CD206 simultaneously were the most frequently observed cell type, which raises the possibility that pure pro- and anti-inflammatory macrophages populations do not exist in healthy human skeletal muscle within the spectrum of tissue remodeling induced by physiological exercise designed to induce hypertrophy. Together these data provide insight into the time course of macrophage activity and associated molecular targets in human skeletal muscle in the context of aging and exercise.
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