Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

CU-Boulder stem cell research may point to new ways of mitigating muscle loss

17.02.2014
New findings on why skeletal muscle stem cells stop dividing and renewing muscle mass during aging points up a unique therapeutic opportunity for managing muscle-wasting conditions in humans, says a new University of Colorado Boulder study.

According to CU-Boulder Professor Bradley Olwin, the loss of skeletal muscle mass and function as we age can lead to sarcopenia, a debilitating muscle-wasting condition that generally hits the elderly hardest.

The new study indicates that altering two particular cell-signaling pathways independently in aged mice enhances muscle stem cell renewal and improves muscle regeneration.

One cell-signaling pathway the team identified, known as p38 MAPK, appears to be a major player in making or breaking the skeletal muscle stem cell, or satellite cell, renewal process in adult mice, said Olwin of the molecular, cellular and developmental biology department. Hyperactivation of the p38 MAPK cell-signaling pathway inhibits the renewal of muscle stem cells in aged mice, perhaps because of cellular stress and inflammatory responses acquired during the aging process.

The researchers knew that obliterating the p38 MAPK pathway in the stem cells of adult mice would block the renewal of satellite cells, said Olwin. But when the team only partially shut down the activity in the cell-signaling pathway by using a specific chemical inhibitor, the adult satellite cells showed significant renewal, he said. "We showed that the level of signaling from this cellular pathway is very important to the renewal of the satellite cells in adult mice, which was a very big surprise," said Olwin.

A paper on the subject appeared online Feb. 16 in the journal Nature Medicine.

One reason the CU-Boulder study is important is that the results could lead to the use of low-dose inhibitors, perhaps anti-inflammatory compounds, to calm the activity in the p38 MAPK cell-signaling pathway in human muscle stem cells, said Olwin.

The CU-Boulder research team also identified a second cell-signaling pathway affecting skeletal muscle renewal – a receptor known as the fibroblast growth factor receptor-1, or FGFR-1. The researchers showed when the FGFR-1 receptor protein was turned on in specially bred lab mice, the renewal of satellite cells increased significantly. "We still don't understand how that particular mechanism works," he said.

Another major finding of the study was that while satellite cells transplanted from young mice to other young mice showed significant renewal for up to two years, those transplanted from old mice to young mice failed. "We found definitively that satellite cells from an aged mouse are not able to maintain the ability to replenish themselves," Olwin said. "This is likely one of the contributors to loss of muscle mass during the aging process of humans."

Co-authors included first author and CU-Boulder postdoctoral researcher Jennifer Bernet, former CU-Boulder graduate student John K. Hall, CU-Boulder undergraduate Thomas Carter, and CU-Boulder postdoctoral researchers Jason Doles and Kathleen Kelly-Tanaka. The National Institutes of Health and the Ellison Medical Foundation funded the study.

Olwin said skeletal muscle function and mass decline with age in humans beginning at roughly age 40. While there are a variety of muscle-wasting diseases -- ranging from muscular dystrophy to Lou Gehrig's disease -- the condition known as sarcopenia can lead to severe muscle loss, frailty and eventual death and is leading to skyrocketing health care costs for the elderly. "If you live long enough, you'll get it," he said.

Olwin and his team worked closely on the research with a team from Stanford University led by Professor Helen Blau, which published a companion paper in the same issue of Nature Medicine. "We shared data with the Stanford team during the entire process and we all were very pleased with the study outcomes," said Olwin. "This is how science should work."

Contact:
Bradley Olwin, 303-492-6816
bradley.olwin@colorado.edu
Jim Scott, CU-Boulder media relations, 303-492-3114
jim.scott@colorado.edu

Bradley Olwin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.colorado.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Moth takes advantage of defensive compounds in Physalis fruits
26.08.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

nachricht Designing ultrasound tools with Lego-like proteins
26.08.2016 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Streamlining accelerated computing for industry

PyFR code combines high accuracy with flexibility to resolve unsteady turbulence problems

Scientists and engineers striving to create the next machine-age marvel--whether it be a more aerodynamic rocket, a faster race car, or a higher-efficiency jet...

Im Focus: X-ray optics on a chip

Waveguides are widely used for filtering, confining, guiding, coupling or splitting beams of visible light. However, creating waveguides that could do the same for X-rays has posed tremendous challenges in fabrication, so they are still only in an early stage of development.

In the latest issue of Acta Crystallographica Section A: Foundations and Advances , Sarah Hoffmann-Urlaub and Tim Salditt report the fabrication and testing of...

Im Focus: Piggyback battery for microchips: TU Graz researchers develop new battery concept

Electrochemists at TU Graz have managed to use monocrystalline semiconductor silicon as an active storage electrode in lithium batteries. This enables an integrated power supply to be made for microchips with a rechargeable battery.

Small electrical gadgets, such as mobile phones, tablets or notebooks, are indispensable accompaniments of everyday life. Integrated circuits in the interiors...

Im Focus: UCI physicists confirm possible discovery of fifth force of nature

Light particle could be key to understanding dark matter in universe

Recent findings indicating the possible discovery of a previously unknown subatomic particle may be evidence of a fifth fundamental force of nature, according...

Im Focus: Wi-fi from lasers

White light from lasers demonstrates data speeds of up to 2 GB/s

A nanocrystalline material that rapidly makes white light out of blue light has been developed by KAUST researchers.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

The energy transition is not possible without Geotechnics

25.08.2016 | Event News

New Ideas for the Shipping Industry

24.08.2016 | Event News

A week of excellence: 22 of the world’s best computer scientists and mathematicians in Heidelberg

12.08.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Cleanroom on demand

29.08.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Crystal unclear: Why might this uncanny crystal change laser design?

29.08.2016 | Materials Sciences

Spherical tokamaks could provide path to limitless fusion energy

29.08.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>