CNTF genotype is associated with muscular strength and quality in humans across the adult age span. Academic Article uri icon


  • The relationship between ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) genotype and muscle strength was examined in 494 healthy men and women across the entire adult age span (20-90 yr). Concentric (Con) and eccentric (Ecc) peak torque were assessed using a Kin-Com isokinetic dynamometer for the knee extensors (KE) and knee flexors (KF) at slow (0.52 rad/s) and faster (3.14 rad/s) velocities. The results were covaried for age, gender, and body mass or fat-free mass (FFM). Individuals heterozygous for the CNTF null (A allele) mutation (G/A) exhibited significantly higher Con peak torque of the KE and KF at 3.14 rad/s than G/G homozygotes when age, gender, and body mass were covaried (P < 0.05). When the dominant leg FFM (estimated muscle mass) was used in place of body mass as a covariate, Con peak torque of the KE at 3.14 rad/s was also significantly greater in the G/A individuals (P < 0.05). In addition, muscle quality of the KE (peak torque at 3.14 rad x s(-1) x leg muscle mass(-1)) was significantly greater in the G/A heterozygotes (P < 0.05). Similar results were seen in a subanalysis of subjects 60 yr and older, as well as in Caucasian subjects. In contrast, A/A homozygotes demonstrated significantly lower Ecc peak torque at 0.52 rad/s for both KE and KF compared with G/G and G/A groups (P < 0.05). No significant relationships were observed at 0.52 rad/s between genotype and Con peak torque. These data indicate that individuals exhibiting the G/A genotype possess significantly greater muscular strength and muscle quality at relatively fast contraction speeds than do G/G individuals. Because of high positive correlations between fast-velocity peak torque and muscular power, these findings suggest that further investigations should address the relationship between CNTF genotype and muscular power.

published proceedings

  • J Appl Physiol (1985)

author list (cited authors)

  • Roth, S. M., Schrager, M. A., Ferrell, R. E., Riechman, S. E., Metter, E. J., Lynch, N. A., Lindle, R. S., & Hurley, B. F.

citation count

  • 68

complete list of authors

  • Roth, SM||Schrager, MA||Ferrell, RE||Riechman, SE||Metter, EJ||Lynch, NA||Lindle, RS||Hurley, BF

publication date

  • April 2001