Indexed on: 20 Dec '18Published on: 20 Dec '18Published in: Frontiers in physiology
We investigated the effect of resistance training and fish protein intake on the motor unit firing pattern and motor function in elderly. Fifty healthy elderly males and females (69.2 ± 4.7 years) underwent 6 weeks of intervention. We applied the leg-press exercise as resistance training and fish protein including Alaska pollack protein (APP) as nutritional supplementation. Subjects were divided into four groups: fish protein intake without resistance training (APP-CN, = 13), placebo intake without resistance training (PLA-CN, = 12), fish protein intake with resistance training (APP-RT, = 12), and placebo intake with resistance training (PLA-RT, = 13). Motor unit firing rates were calculated from multi-channel surface electromyography by the Convolution Kernel. For the chair-stand test, while significant increases were observed at 6 weeks compared with 0 week in all groups ( < 0.05), significant increases from 0 to 3 weeks and 6 weeks were observed in APP-RT (18.2 ± 1.9 at 0 week to 19.8 ± 2.2 at 3 weeks and 21.2 ± 1.9 at 6 weeks) ( < 0.05). Increase and/or decrease in the motor unit firing rate were mainly noted within motor units with a low-recruitment threshold in APP-RT and PLA-RT at 3 and 6 weeks (12.3 pps at 0 week to 13.6 pps at 3 weeks and 12.1 pps at 6 weeks for APP-RT and 12.9 pps at 0 week to 13.9 pps at 3 weeks and 14.1 pps at 6 weeks for PLA-RT at 50% of MVC) ( < 0.05), but not in APP-CN or PLA-CN ( > 0.05). Time courses of changes in the results of the chair-stand test and motor unit firing rate were different between APP-RT and PLA-RT. These findings suggest that, in the elderly, the effect of resistance training on the motor unit firing rate is observed in motor units with a low-recruitment threshold, and additional fish protein intake modifies these adaptations in motor unit firing patterns and the motor function following resistance training.