Cell Stress and Chaperones

, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 667–673 | Cite as

Mild eccentric exercise increases Hsp72 content in skeletal muscles from adult and late middle-aged rats

  • Evan J. H. Lewis
  • Andrew H. Ramsook
  • Marius LockeEmail author
  • Catherine E. Amara
Short Communication


The loss of muscle mass with age or sarcopenia contributes to increased morbidity and mortality. Thus, preventing muscle loss with age is important for maintaining health. Hsp72, the inducible member of the Hsp70 family, is known to provide protection to skeletal muscle and can be increased by exercise. However, ability to increase Hsp72 by exercise is intensity-dependent and appears to diminish with advanced age. Thus, other exercise modalities capable of increasing HSP content and potentially preventing the age related loss of muscle need to be explored. The purpose of this study was to determine if the stress from one bout of mild eccentric exercise was sufficient to elicit an increase in Hsp72 content in the vastus intermedius (VI) and white gastrocnemius (WG) muscles, and if the Hsp72 response differed between adult and late middle-aged rats. To do this, 30 adult (6 months) and late middle-aged (24 months) F344BN rats were randomly divided into three groups (n = 6/group): control (C), level exercise (16 m.min−1) and eccentric exercise (16 m.min−1, 16 degree decline). Exercised animals were sacrificed immediately post-exercise or after 48 hours. Hematoxylin and Eosin staining was used to assess muscle damage, while Western Blotting was used to measure muscle Hsp72 content. A nested ANOVA with Tukey post hoc analysis was performed to determine significant difference (p < 0.05) between groups. Hsp72 content was increased in the VI for both adult and late middle-aged rats 48 hours after eccentric exercise when compared to level and control groups but no differences between age groups was observed. Hsp72 was not detected in the WG following any type of exercise. In conclusion, mild eccentric exercise can increase Hsp72 content in the rat VI muscle and this response is maintained into late middle-age.


Heat shock proteins Aging Skeletal muscle Exercise Eccentric muscle contractions Downhill running Muscle damage 


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Copyright information

© Cell Stress Society International 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Evan J. H. Lewis
    • 1
  • Andrew H. Ramsook
    • 1
  • Marius Locke
    • 1
    Email author
  • Catherine E. Amara
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education, University of TorontoTorontoCanada

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