Age-associated inflammation and implications for skeletal muscle responses to exercise

Hawley E. Kunz, Ian R. Lanza

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Aging is associated with profound alterations in skeletal muscle, including loss of muscle mass and function, local inflammation, altered mitochondrial physiology, and attenuated anabolic responses to exercise termed anabolic resistance. “Inflammaging,” the chronic, low-grade inflammation associated with aging, may contribute to many of the age-related derangements in skeletal muscle, including its ability to respond to exercise and nutritional stimuli. Inflammation and exercise are closely intertwined in numerous ways. A single bout of muscle-damaging exercise stimulates an acute inflammatory response in the skeletal muscle that is essential for muscle repair and regeneration; however, the chronic systemic and local inflammation associated with aging may impair acute inflammatory and anabolic responses to exercise. In contrast, exercise training is anti-inflammatory, targeting many of the potential root causes of inflammaging. In this review, we discuss the interplay between inflammation and exercise in aging and highlight potential therapeutic targets for improving adaptive responses to exercise in older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number112177
JournalExperimental Gerontology
StatePublished - Jun 15 2023


  • Aging
  • Exercise
  • Inflammation
  • Skeletal muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Aging
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


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