Studies in progress
Cell signaling and resistance to oxidative stress: Effects of aging and exercise
The primary aim of this study is to investigate the effects of aging on cell signaling in response to acute exercise, before and after an 8-week exercise intervention as well as whether any differences in cell signaling extend to resistance to oxidative stress. A secondary aim is to investigate any potential sex differences.
This is a federally funded study and subject recruitment is still in progress. Specifically we are looking for men and women 18-28y and 60y or older, who are currently inactive, non-smokers, generally healthy, and not prohibited from doing a maximal exercise test. Women participants cannot be taking estrogen replacement or birth control. The study requires 6 visits to the lab (parking is available) and willingness to commit to the exercise intervention, 3-days per week at the NAU Student Recreation Center. Half the participants will be randomized to a non-exercising control group but will have the opportunity to participate in the exercise intervention thereafter, if desired.
The results will increase understanding of the mechanisms of diminished stress resilience with aging and the plasticity of these pathways. This will determine whether targeting specific cell signaling may be effective for prevention or treatment of these age-related changes.
Funded by: NIH/NIA 1R15AG055077-01
Effects of physical fitness with or without estrogen on redox balance in postmenopausal women
Recent studies from other laboratories investigating the effects of exercise on vascular function in sedentary postmenopausal women found unexpected results where the exercise intervention only improved vascular function in women who also received estrogen replacement. These data suggest that exercise started after menopause may not be enough to protect against age-related changes in redox balance and vascular function. However, we do not know whether the same results apply to women who are physically fit prior to and through menopause. The aim of this study is to investigate the interaction between fitness and estrogen replacement on redox balance in recently postmenopausal women (<5 years) and specifically answer the question whether physically fit women gain any additional advantage with estrogen replacement therapy (ERT).
Subject recruitment is in progress. We are looking for women who have been postmenopausal for 1-5 years, either regular exercisers or non-exercisers, and either on estrogen replacement or have never been on estrogen replacement. The study includes a screening visit and 3 additional laboratory visits with a total time commitment of 9 hours.
Do phytonutrients in broccoli enhance the exercise response in older adults?
Exercise improves health through cell signaling that results in adaptations to increase stress resilience. However, recent data from our lab found that older individuals are not able to elicit the same cell signaling response to acute exercise as young. Another way to stimulate the same cell signaling pathway is through phytonutrients such as those present in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli sprouts and broccoli. The aim of this study is to investigate whether we can improve the exercise response with the addition of sulforaphane (SFN), the active phytonutrient in broccoli. However, our approach is to treat cells that we isolate from blood draws before and after the acute exercise with the SFN – therefore, subjects will not be taking a supplement. In this pilot-study we will recruit 6 older male individuals and take blood draws before and after an acute bout of exercise (30 mins @ 70% max). Mononuclear cells will be isolated from the samples and treated with SFN in cell culture. The cell signaling response will be compared between exercise, SFN, and co-treatment using measures of gene expression and protein abundance. The results will help design future studies on oral SFN supplementation and exercise.
Funded by: the Hooper Undergraduate Research Award (to Hannah Beskind) and the RISE Fellowship program (to Nadja Jones)
If you are interested in more information or to find out if you qualify for any of these studies please contact us at email@example.com