Impact of resistance training on the autophagy-inflammation-apoptosis crosstalk in elderly subjects

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Sarah Baatout
  • Yubisay N. Mejias-Pena
  • Brisamar Estébanez
  • Paula Rodriguez-Miguelez
  • Rodrigo Fernandez Gonzalo
  • Mar Almar
  • José Antoinio de Paz
  • Barbara Gonzalez-Fernandez
  • Maria J. Cuevas

Institutes & Expert groups

  • University of León
  • Augusta University

Documents & links



Aging is associated with a decline in autophagy and a state of low-grade inflammation which further affects apoptosis and autophagy. Importantly, these alterations could reverse with regular physical activity. This study assessed the effects of a resistance exercise training program on autophagy, NLRP3 inflammasome, and apoptosis in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from old subjects. Twenty-six healthy women and men (age, 69.6±1.5 yr) were randomized to a training (TG) or a control (CG) group. TG performed an 8-week resistance training program, while CG followed their daily routines. Protein expression of beclin-1, Atg12, Atg16 and LAMP-2 increased following the training program, while expression of p62/SQSTM1 and phosphorylation of ULK-1 at Ser757 were significantly lower. Resistance exercise also induced a decrease in NLRP3 expression and in the caspase-1/procaspase-1 ratio. Expression of Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL, as well as the Bad/BcL-2 ratio were reduced, and there was a significant decrease in the protein content of caspase-3. The results obtained seem to indicate that 8-week resistance training stimulates autophagy, prevents NLRP3 inflammasome activation, and reduces apoptosis in PBMCs from elderly subjects. These data could have a significant impact in prevention and rehabilitation programs currently employed in elderly population.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-418
Number of pages11
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2017


  • Apoptosis, Autophagy, Elderly, Inflammasome, Resistance exercise

ID: 5644262