Tissue-specific effects of Exercise and Antioxidant Intake on Protein Damage in Young and Old Mice




Scott, Amanda
Jafri, Saad
Mock, J.
Wong, Jessica
Vann, Philip
Davis, Delaney
Sumien, Nathalie


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  1. Purpose: While oxidative stress is not the only factor involved in the aging process, it has been demonstrated that manipulating oxidative stress can affect function and delay age-related declines. Interventions such as moderate exercise and antioxidant supplementation have been shown to affect oxidative stress and improve function. With many individuals combining interventions, it is imperative to determine how they might interact. We hypothesized that exercise or antioxidants alone would decrease oxidative damage, and combining them would further decrease oxidative damage.
  2. Methods: Cardiac and skeletal muscle tissues were homogenized and used to determine the levels of protein damage assessed by measuring carbonyl concentrations. The samples were collected from a prior study during which 4 and 20 month old C57BL/6 male mice were placed into one of four treatment groups: sedentary/ control diet, sedentary/ antioxidant diet, exercise/ control diet, and exercise/ antioxidant diet. The exercise consisted of a moderate aerobic treadmill forced exercise, and the antioxidant diet contained α-tocopherol (0.825mg/g diet) and ascorbate (1.65mg/g diet). The effects of age and treatment were analyzed by two-way ANOVAs, followed by pairwise comparisons.
  3. Results: There was no main effect of age on protein oxidation in homogenates from cardiac or skeletal muscles. There was no effect of exercise, antioxidant or the combination on carbonyls in the skeletal muscles. However, in the cardiac muscles, all the treatments decreased protein oxidation especially in the old mice (only significantly in the old exercise group). There was no noticeable interaction between antioxidant and exercise treatments.
  4. Conclusion: Overall, the effects of treatment were only observed in the cardiac muscle signifying a potential tissue-dependent response to exercise and antioxidants. Interestingly, there was no beneficial or antagonistic interaction between the two interventions. Other tissues will also be studied to strengthen this argument.