Brown, Lemuel A; Judge, Jennifer L; Macpherson, Peter C; Koch, Lauren G; Qi, Nathan R; Britton, Steven L; Brooks, Susan V
The data described below is related to the manuscript "Late life maintenance and enhancement of functional exercise capacity in low and high responding rats after low intensity treadmill training" . Rodents exhibit age-related declines in skeletal muscle function that is associated with muscle denervation and cellular senescence. Exercise training is a proven method to delay or even reverse some aging phenotypes, thus improving healthspan in the elderly. The beneficial effects of exercise to preserve muscle may be reliant on an individual's innate ability to adapt to aerobic training. To examine this question, we assessed aged rats that were selectively bred to be either minimally or highly responsive to aerobic exercise training. We specifically asked whether mild treadmill training initiated late in life would be beneficial to preserve muscle function in high response and low response trainer rats. We examined gene expression data on markers of denervation and senescence. We also evaluated measures of aerobic training and neuromuscular muscle function through work capacity, contractile properties, and endplate fragmentation for further analysis of the aging phenotype in older rodents.