Reaction time in healthy elderly is associated with chronic low-grade inflammation and advanced glycation end product

Pauline Arnold, Rose Njemini, Stijn Vantieghem, Ellen Gorus, Annelies Pool-Goudzwaard, Ronald Buyl, Ivan Bautmans*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Chronic inflammation and Advanced Glycation End products (AGE) are associated with sarcopenia. Decreased voluntary muscle activation and increased antagonist coactivation can contribute to age-related muscle weakness. The influence of chronic inflammation and AGE in these neuromuscular mechanisms is not clear. We studied whether a relation exists between circulating levels of inflammatory cytokines and AGEs as well as the interplay between agonist and antagonist muscle activation. We studied 64 community-dwelling old subjects, during a maximal isometric voluntary contraction (MVC) and a reaction-time (RT) test of the upper limb. Twenty-five circulating inflammatory biomarkers were determined. Linear regression showed significant relationships between chronic inflammation and six muscle activation parameters. MIP-1β showed a significant negative relation with antagonist coactivation (during MVC) and antagonist muscle activity during pre-movement time (PMT) and movement time (MT) (during RT). A higher level of pentosidine (AGE) was predictive for a longer PMT. We conclude that in older relatively healthy persons antagonist muscle activation is influenced by chronic inflammation, contributing to age-related muscle weakness. Our results also suggest a mechanical and inflammatory influence of pentosidine in upper limb slowing of movement. These findings show novel insight in underlying mechanisms of age-related muscle weakness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-124
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental Gerontology
Early online date6 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2018


This work was financially supported by the Wetenschappelijk College Fysiotherapie, The Netherlands (Grant WCF.275751 ).

FundersFunder number
Wetenschappelijk College FysiotherapieWCF.275751


    • Advanced glycation end product
    • Aging
    • Antagonist coactivation
    • Chronic inflammation
    • Cytokines


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