Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.
An altered prenatal environment during maternal obesity predisposes offspring to insulin resistance, obesity, and their consequent comorbidities, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Telomere shortening and frailty are additional risk factors for these conditions. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of resistance training on hepatic metabolism and ectopic fat accumulation. Thirty-five frail elderly women, whose mothers' body mass index (BMI) was known, participated in a 4-mo resistance training program. Endogenous glucose production (EGP) and hepatic and visceral fat glucose uptake were measured during euglycemic hyperinsulinemia with [(18)F]fluorodeoxyglucose and positron emission tomography. Ectopic fat was measured using magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging. We found that the training intervention reduced EGP during insulin stimulation [from 5.4 (interquartile range 3.0, 7.0) to 3.9 (-0.4, 6.1) μmol·kg body wt(-1)·min(-1), P = 0.042] in the whole study group. Importantly, the reduction was higher among those whose EGP was more insulin resistant at baseline (higher than the median) [-5.6 (7.1) vs. 0.1 (5.4) μmol·kg body wt(-1)·min(-1), P = 0.015]. Furthermore, the decrease in EGP was associated with telomere elongation (r = -0.620, P = 0.001). The resistance training intervention did not change either hepatic or visceral fat glucose uptake or the amounts of ectopic fat. Maternal obesity did not influence the studied measures. In conclusion, resistance training improves suppression of EGP in elderly women. The finding of improved insulin sensitivity of EGP with associated telomere lengthening implies that elderly women can reduce their risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease with resistance training.