Biochemical Changes in Response to Intensive Resistance Exercise Training in the Elderly

  • Ivan Bautmans
  • Rose Njemini
  • Tony MetsEmail author
Part of the Heat Shock Proteins book series (HESP, volume 5)


Sarcopenia, the age-related loss of muscle mass and muscle strength, is closely related to inflammatory processes and seems to be aggravated by concomitant age-related alterations in cell-protecting mechanisms involving heat shock proteins (HSP). The most effective modality to counter sarcopenia is intensive resistance exercise, which also induces an inflammatory reaction and influences Hsp70 expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and several tissues. In this review we focus on the influence of physical exercise on the HSP-expression during aging. Following a systematic literature search it can be concluded that there is very limited information available at this moment. Animal studies have described a blunted exercise-induced HSP response in the skeletal muscle, heart and liver of older rodents compared to younger ones. The human studies have shown that physical exercise lowers the basal Hsp70 expression in PBMC, probably by reducing the low-grade inflammation and the oxidative stress. A 6-weeks intensive resistance training program in elderly persons improves the heat-induced Hsp70 expression in PBMC, a phenomenon which might be related to a better cellular protection during stressful situations. More research is warranted in this domain, especially involving elderly persons in different clinical conditions and exploring the effects of different exercise schedules


Sarcopenia cytokines heat shock proteins physical exercise elderly inflammation 



advanced glycation end products


heat shock factor 1


heat shock protein


insulin-like growth factor-1




nitric oxide


peripheral blood mononuclear cell


receptor for AGE


reactive oxygen species


tumor necrosis factor-alpha


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Frailty in Ageing (FRIA) Research GroupVrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Gerontology and Geriatrics Department, Frailty in Ageing (FRIA) Research GroupVrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselsBelgium
  3. 3.Gerontology and Geriatrics Department, Frailty in Ageing (FRIA) Research GroupVrije Universiteit Brussel and Universitair Ziekenhuis BrusselBrusselsBelgium

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