Redox signaling in skeletal muscle: Role of aging and exercise

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46 Scopus citations


Skeletal muscle contraction is associated with the production of ROS due to altered O2 distribution and flux in the cell. Despite a highly efficient antioxidant defense, a small surplus of ROS, such as hydrogen peroxide and nitric oxide, may serve as signaling molecules to stimulate cellular adaptation to reach new homeostasis largely due to the activation of redox-sensitive signaling pathways. Recent research has highlighted the important role of NF-κB, MAPK, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α, along with other newly discovered signaling pathways, in some of the most vital biological functions, such as mitochondrial biogenesis, antioxidant defense, inflammation, protein turnover, apoptosis, and autophagy. There is evidence that the inability of the cell to maintain proper redox signaling underlies some basic mechanisms of biological aging, during which inflammatory and catabolic pathways eventually predominate. Physical exercise has been shown to activate various redox signaling pathways that control the adaptation and remodeling process. Although this stimulatory effect of exercise declines with aging, it is not completed abolished. Thus, aged people can still benefit from regular physical activity in the appropriate forms and at proper intensity to preserve muscle function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)352-359
Number of pages8
JournalAdvances in Physiology Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2015


  • Aging
  • Antioxidant
  • Exercise
  • Muscle
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Redox signaling


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