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The acute transcriptional response to resistance exercise: impact of age and contraction mode

Deane, Colleen S.; Ames, Ryan M.; Phillips, Bethan E.; Weedon, Michael N.; Willis, Craig R.G.; Boereboom, Catherine; Abdulla, Haitham; Bukhari, Syed S.I.; Lund, Jonathan N.; Williams, John P.; Wilkinson, Daniel J.; Smith, Kenneth; Gallagher, Iain J.; Kadi, Fawzi; Szewczyk, Nathaniel J.; Atherton, Philip J.; Etheridge, Timothy

The acute transcriptional response to resistance exercise: impact of age and contraction mode Thumbnail


Colleen S. Deane

Ryan M. Ames

Professor of Translational Physiology

Michael N. Weedon

Craig R.G. Willis

Catherine Boereboom

Haitham Abdulla

Syed S.I. Bukhari

Clinical Associate Professor

Clinical Associate Professor

Professor of Metabolic Mass Spectrometry

Iain J. Gallagher

Fawzi Kadi

Nathaniel J. Szewczyk

Professor of Clinical, metabolic & Molecular Physiology

Timothy Etheridge


Optimization of resistance exercise (RE) remains a hotbed of research for muscle building and maintenance. However, the interactions between the contractile components of RE (i.e. concentric (CON) and eccentric (ECC)) and age, are poorly defined. We used transcriptomics to compare age-related molecular responses to acute CON and ECC exercise. Eight young (21±1 y) and eight older (70±1 y) exercise-naïve male volunteers had vastus lateralis biopsies collected at baseline and 5 h post unilateral CON and contralateral ECC exercise. RNA was subjected to next-generation sequencing and differentially expressed (DE) genes tested for pathway enrichment using Gene Ontology (GO). The young transcriptional response to CON and ECC was highly similar and older adults displayed moderate contraction-specific profiles, with no GO enrichment. Age-specific responses to ECC revealed 104 DE genes unique to young, and 170 DE genes in older muscle, with no GO enrichment. Following CON, 15 DE genes were young muscle-specific, whereas older muscle uniquely expressed 147 up-regulated genes enriched for cell adhesion and blood vessel development, and 28 down-regulated genes involved in mitochondrial respiration, amino acid and lipid metabolism. Thus, older age is associated with contraction-specific regulation often without clear functional relevance, perhaps reflecting a degree of stochastic age-related dysregulation.


Deane, C. S., Ames, R. M., Phillips, B. E., Weedon, M. N., Willis, C. R., Boereboom, C., …Etheridge, T. (2019). The acute transcriptional response to resistance exercise: impact of age and contraction mode. Aging, 11(7), 2111-2126.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 31, 2019
Online Publication Date Apr 15, 2019
Publication Date Apr 15, 2019
Deposit Date Apr 22, 2019
Publicly Available Date Apr 25, 2019
Journal Aging
Electronic ISSN 1945-4589
Publisher Impact Journals
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Issue 7
Pages 2111-2126
Keywords concentric; eccentric; sarcopenia; transcriptome
Public URL
Publisher URL