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The Achilles tendon is mechanosensitive in older adults: adaptations following 14 weeks versus 1.5 years of cyclic strain exercise.

Epro, G and Mierau, A and Doerner, J and Luetkens, JA and Scheef, L and Kukuk, GM and Boecker, H and Maganaris, CN and Brüggemann, G-P and Karamanidis, K (2017) The Achilles tendon is mechanosensitive in older adults: adaptations following 14 weeks versus 1.5 years of cyclic strain exercise. Journal of Experimental Biology, 220 (6). pp. 1008-1018. ISSN 1477-9145

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Abstract

The aging musculoskeletal system experiences a general decline in structure and function, characterized by a reduced adaptability to environmental stress. We investigated whether the older human Achilles tendon (AT) demonstrates mechanosensitivity (via biomechanical and morphological adaptations) in response to long-term mechanical loading. Thirty-four female adults (60-75 years) were allocated to either a medium-term (14 weeks; N=21) high AT strain cyclic loading exercise intervention or a control group (N=13), with 12 participants continuing with the intervention for 1.5 years. AT biomechanical properties were assessed using ultrasonography and dynamometry. Tendon cross-sectional area (CSA) was investigated by means of magnetic resonance imaging. A 22% exercise-related increment in ankle plantarflexion joint moment, along with increased AT stiffness (598.2±141.2 versus 488.4±136.9 N mm(-1) at baseline), Young's modulus (1.63±0.46 versus 1.37±0.39 GPa at baseline) and about 6% hypertrophy along the entire free AT were identified after 14 weeks of strength training, with no further improvement after 1.5 years of intervention. The aging AT appears to be capable of increasing its stiffness in response to 14 weeks of mechanical loading exercise by changing both its material and dimensional properties. Continuing exercise seems to maintain, but not cause further adaptive changes in tendons, suggesting that the adaptive time-response relationship of aging tendons subjected to mechanical loading is nonlinear.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 06 Biological Sciences, 11 Medical And Health Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QM Human anatomy
Q Science > QP Physiology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Divisions: Sport & Exercise Sciences
Publisher: Company of Biologists
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2017 11:01
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2017 10:16
DOI or Identification number: 10.1242/jeb.146407
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6084

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