Findings point way to identifying therapeutics to stem muscle atrophy
In research that could benefit astronauts posted to the International Space Station as well as individuals whose universe is defined by their sick bed, Boston University Sargent College researchers Susan Kandarian and R. Bridge Hunter have found that disrupting either one of two genes, nfêb1 and bcl3, can block the biological process of muscle wasting known as atrophy.
Their findings will inform efforts to identify therapeutics that could inhibit muscle atrophy caused by a chronic reduction in muscle use. Such treatments could end the muscle loss, weakness, and fatigue that can plague space travelers, sedentary or bed-ridden individuals, or anyone whose muscles undergo long periods of disuse. "By understanding the genes necessary for muscle atrophy," says Kandarian, lead researcher and professor of health sciences at BU Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, "we can begin to study the protein products required for atrophy. Our ongoing research shows that the process of atrophy might be partially moderated by something as straightforward as aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAIDs]."
Ann Marie Menting | EurekAlert!
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