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Potential Importance of Immune System Response to Exercise on Aging Muscle and Bone

  • Nutrition, Exercise and Lifestyle (S Shapses and R Daly, Section Editors)
  • Published:
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Purpose of Review

The age-related loss of skeletal muscle and bone tissue decreases functionality and increases the risk for falls and injuries. One contributing factor of muscle and bone loss over time is chronic low-grade inflammation. Exercise training is an effective countermeasure for decreasing the loss of muscle and bone tissue, possibly by enhancing immune system response. Herein, we discuss key interactions between the immune system, muscle, and bone in relation to exercise perturbations, and we identify that there is substantial “cross-talk” between muscle and bone and the immune system in response to exercise.

Recent Findings

Recent advances in our understanding of the “cross-talk” between muscle and bone and the immune system indicate that exercise is likely to mediate many of the beneficial effects on muscle and bone via their interactions with the immune system.


The age-related loss of muscle and bone tissue may be partially explained by an impaired immune system via chronic low-grade inflammation. Exercise training has a beneficial effect on immune system function and aging muscle and bone. Theoretically, the “cross-talk” between the immune system, muscle, and bone in response to exercise enhances aging musculoskeletal health.

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Correspondence to Stephen M. Cornish.

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Cornish, S.M., Chilibeck, P.D. & Candow, D.G. Potential Importance of Immune System Response to Exercise on Aging Muscle and Bone. Curr Osteoporos Rep 18, 350–356 (2020).

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