Researchers from the Medical Branch of the University of Texas at Galveston have come up with a promising drug that has been shown to significantly increase muscle size, strength, and metabolic status in mice aged, according to a study recently published in Biochemical Pharmacology.
As we age, our body loses more and more the ability to repair and rebuild degenerative skeletal muscle. By the age of 35, muscle mass, strength, and function are steadily decreasing with age. This can severely limit the ability of older people to lead fully active and independent lives.
"We identified a protein in muscle stem cells that appears to be responsible for their age-related dysfunction, and then we developed a small molecule drug that limits the effects of this protein," said Dr. Lead author, Stanley Watowich, associate professor at the UTMB of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. "By putting the muscle stem cells back into a younger state, we were able to regenerate them so that they could repair the muscle tissue more effectively."
In this study, elderly mice with muscle injury were treated with the drug or placebo. After seven days of treatment, the researchers found that older mice receiving the drug had more functional muscle stem cells that actively repaired the injured muscle. In the treated group, the muscle fiber size doubled and muscle strength increased by 70% compared to the placebo group. In addition, the blood chemistry of the treated and untreated mice was similar, suggesting that no adverse effects of the drug had occurred.
Adults over 65 are the fastest growing segment of the population in many countries. Over the next decade, the number of seniors in the United States will increase by 40% and the cost of their health care should double, accounting for more than half of health care spending in the United States. Much of this spending will be used to treat health problems related to muscle decline, including hip fractures, falls and heart disease.
"There is currently no treatment available to delay, stop or reverse age-related muscle degeneration," said lead author Harshini Neelakantan, a research scientist at UTMB. Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. "These early results support the development of an innovative drug therapy that can help older people be in better shape, faster and stronger, allowing them to live more active and independent lives. with age. "
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