The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of compensatory hypertrophy (CH), heavy-resistance exercise training (HRET), and simultaneous CH and HRET on fast-twitch skeletal-muscle myofibrillar-protein synthesis, myosin heavy-chain (MHC) turnover rate, and MHC-isoform composition in young and old rats. In young animals all treatments intensified myofibrillar-protein synthesis, whereas in old animals with CH protein synthesis remained unchanged. The relative content of MHC I and IID in plantaris muscle increases with age, and the relative content of MHC IIB decreases. HRET and simultaneous CH and HRET decreased the proportion of MHC IIB and IIA and increased that of MHC IID in young rat muscle. In old rat muscle, relative content of MHC IID decreased and that of MHC IIB increased. CH decreased relative content of MHC IIB in both age groups and of MHC IIA in old animals. Relative content of MHC IID increased in both groups, and of MHC IIA, in young animals. MHC in plantaris of young rats turned over much faster in all types of mechanical loading but in old rats only during HRET and its combination with CH.
The authors are with the Dept. of Functional Morphology, University of Tartu, 51014 Tartu, Estonia.