Age-related sarcopenia in humans is associated with reduced synthetic rates of specific muscle proteins

D. N. Proctor, P. Balagopal, K. S. Nair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

129 Scopus citations


Sarcopenia of aging is not explained entirely on the basis of age- associated reduced physical activity. Progressive neuromuscular changes and diminishing anabolic hormone levels are thought to contribute to the pathogenesis of sarcopenia. Decline in muscle mass indicates a decline in muscle protein content. Recent studies demonstrated an age-related decline in synthesis rate of mixed muscle proteins, myosin heavy chain and mitochondrial protein. Reductions in myosin heavy chain and mitochondrial protein synthesis rates have been correlated with age-associated decrements in muscle strength and aerobic exercise tolerance, respectively. These changes have been reported as early as 50 y of age and are related to the decline in insulin- like growth factor (IGF)-I, testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)- sulfate. The declining ability to remodel these important muscle proteins may therefore play a role in the development of muscle wasting, metabolic abnormalities and impaired physical functioning seen in old age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351S-355S
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number2 SUPPL.
StatePublished - 1998


  • Anabolic hormones
  • Humans
  • Muscle mass
  • Muscle protein synthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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