The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of inactivity on lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) enzyme activity (expressed in nmol/ g dry weight hour) in single skeletal muscle fibers from the soleus muscle in adult and aged rats. Fourteen 12-month-old and fifteen 30-month-old Fisher 344 Brown Norway F1 Hybrid rats were randomly assigned to control, 1 week of hindlimb unweighting (HU1), or 2 weeks of hindlimb unweighting (HU2). With age, a significant decrease in LDH enzyme activity occurred in type I skeletal muscle fibers (29.5%, P < 0.05). Following HU2, individual type I skeletal muscle fibers from the 12-month-old animals showed a 33.3% increase in LDH activity. In contrast, individual type I fibers from the aged animals showed a 50.0% increase after HU1. In conclusion, the baseline levels of LDH activity were significantly less in aged versus adult rats. The timing of the skeletal muscle adaptation to inactivity was different between young and old animals, such that the older animals responded to inactivity before the younger animals. These biochemical changes may have an impact on the fatigability of the muscle following inactivity. The findings indicate that treatment during bed rest for the older adult may be different than that for the younger adult.
- lactate dehydrogenase enzyme activity
- skeletal muscle