Sarcopenia: Molecular pathways and potential benefits of exercise training

Document Type : Review Articles


1 Department of Exercise Physiology, Islamic Azad University, Karaj Branch, Alborz, Iran.

2 department of exercise physiology , physical education & sport sciences faculty, Islamic Azad University Karaj branch, Alborz, Iran.

3 Exercise Physiology Research Center, Life Style Institute, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

4 Clinical Care and Health Promotion Research Center, Karaj branch, Islamic Azad University, Karaj, Iran.

5 Lviv State University of Physical Culture (Lviv, Ukraine), Department of Sports Medicine, Human Health.


Sarcopenia, an age-associated phenomenon, is characterized by the reduced skeletal muscle mass and function. Research studies indicate that a wide range of factors can play a key role in the onset of muscle atrophy and its progression, especially during old age. However, the pathophysiology of this event is not well understood and there are many unresolved issues yet. Performing different training methods (aerobic, resistance, and concurrent) is among the strategies that may be beneficial for the prevention and improvement of sarcopenia by affecting the signaling pathways of muscle cells. On the other hand, the way in which this type of training affects the signaling pathways involved in sarcopenia has not been well understood. Even the previous research has been incapable of well introducing an effective training method for the elderly at risk for sarcopenia. Generally, in this review article, we investigate and summarize the important and key mechanisms that may contribute to sarcopenia. In the following, we have examined the effect of regular physical activity on cellular signaling pathways involved in sarcopenia, as well as the usefulness of aerobic, resistance, and concurrent activities in adaptation and prevention of the pathology of sarcopenia in the elderly.

What is already known on this subject?

Research studies indicate that a wide range of factors can play a key role in the onset of muscle atrophy and its progression, especially during old age.


What this study adds?

The obtained evidence shows that performing aerobic and resistance exercises is probably beneficial in prevention of sarcopenia in the elderly. However, the effectiveness and efficiency of concurrent exercises seems to be better for the elderly at risk for sarcopenia. 


Main Subjects

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