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OBJECTIVE - Aged muscle is characterized by a defect in the ability of leucine to stimulate protein synthesis. We showed previously that antioxidant supplementation improved the anabolic response to leucine of old muscle and reduced inflammation. The aim of the present study was to determine if the positive effects observed in muscle could be related to an improvement of local muscle oxidative status.
METHODS - Two groups of 20-mo-old male Wistar rats were supplemented or not with rutin, vitamin E, vitamin A, zinc, and selenium during 7 wk. We measured body weight, food intake, oxidative status in muscle and other tissues, gastrocnemius muscle proteolytic activities, and liver glutathione metabolism.
RESULTS - Antioxidant supplementation had no effect on muscle antioxidant capacity, superoxide dismutase activities, and myofibrillar protein carbonyl content and induced an increase in muscle cathepsin activities. In other tissues, antioxidant supplementation increased liver glutathione (reduced plus oxidized glutathione) content, reduced oxidative damage in the liver and spleen (as measured by γ-keto-aldehyde content), and reduced heart thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances.
CONCLUSION - Our results showed that the positive effects of antioxidant supplementation observed previously on the anabolic response to leucine of old muscle were not directly related to an improvement of in situ muscle oxidative status. It could result from reduced systemic inflammation/oxidative stress. The dialog between muscle and other organs should be studied more thoroughly, especially during aging.
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