Postabsorptive and postprandial myofibrillar protein synthesis rates at rest and after resistance exercise in women with post-menopause

Colleen F. McKenna, Andrew T. Askow, Kevin J. M. Paulussen, Amadeo F. Salvador, Hsin-Yu Fang, Alexander V. Ulanov, Zhong Li, Scott A. Paluska, Joseph W. Beals, Ralf Jäger, Martin Purpura, Nicholas A. Burd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Feeding and resistance exercise stimulate myofibrillar protein synthesis (MPS) rates in healthy adults. This anabolic characterization of "healthy adults" has been namely focused on males. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the temporal responses of MPS and anabolic signaling to resistance exercise alone or combined with the ingestion of protein in postmenopausal females and compare postabsorptive rates with young females. Sixteen females [60 ± 7 yr; body mass index (BMI) = 26 ± 12 kg·m-2] completed an acute bout of unilateral resistance exercise before consuming either: a fortified whey protein supplement (WHEY) or water. Participants received primed continuous infusions of L-[ring-13C6]phenylalanine with bilateral muscle biopsies before and after treatment ingestion at 2 h and 4 h in nonexercised and exercised legs. Resistance exercise transiently increased MPS above baseline at 0-2 h in the water condition (P = 0.007). Feeding after resistance exercise resulted in a late phase (2-4 h) increase in MPS in the WHEY condition (P = 0.005). In both conditions, resistance exercise did not enhance the cumulative (0-4 h) MPS response. In the nonexercised leg, MPS did not differ at 0-2 h, 2-4 h, or 0-4 h of the measurement periods (all, P > 0.05). Likewise, there were no changes in the phosphorylation of p70S6K, AMPKα, or total and phosphorylated yes-associated protein on Ser127. Finally, postabsorptive MPS was lower in premenopausal versus postmenopausal females (P = 0.023). Our results demonstrate that resistance exercise-induced changes in MPS are temporally regulated, but do not result in greater cumulative (0-4 h) MPS in postmenopausal women.NEW & NOTEWORTHY An adequate quality and quantity of skeletal muscle is relevant to support physical performance and metabolic health. Muscle protein synthesis (MPS) is an established remodeling marker, which can be hypertrophic or nonhypertrophic. Importantly, protein ingestion and resistance exercise are two strategies that support healthy muscle by stimulating MPS. Our study shows postmenopause modulates baseline MPS that may diminish the MPS response to the fundamental anabolic stimuli of protein ingestion and resistance exercise in older females.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1388-1399
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number6
Early online dateFeb 22 2024
StatePublished - Jun 1 2024


  • aging
  • protein nutrition
  • skeletal muscle mass
  • females
  • leucine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Postabsorptive and postprandial myofibrillar protein synthesis rates at rest and after resistance exercise in women with post-menopause'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this