FEB 17, 2019 6:05 PM PST

Drug Improves Muscle Properties

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Currently, adults over 65 are an increasingly growing segment in many countries. In the United States, the elderly population will increase by 40 percent with the cost of health care expected to double with much of the spending used in the treatment of health problems related to muscle decline. Now, researchers at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston have aimed to find a solution by creating a drug that significantly increased muscle size, strength and metabolic state in aged mice.

Credit: UTMB.edu

"We identified a protein in muscle stem cells that appears to be responsible for their age-related dysfunction, and then developed a small molecule drug that limits the effects of this protein," explains senior author Stanley Watowich, UTMB associate professor in the department of biochemistry and molecular biology. "By resetting muscle stem cells to a more youthful state, we were able to rejuvenate them so that they could more effectively repair muscle tissues."

When we age, our bodies naturally lose their effectiveness to repair and rebuild degenerating skeletal muscles. At around age 35, muscle mass, strength and function begin to decline which dramatically limits the potential of older adults to lead fully active and independent lives.

"There are no treatments currently available to delay, arrest or reverse age-related muscle degeneration," said senior author Harshini Neelakantan, a UTMB research scientist in the department of biochemistry and molecular biology. "These initial results support the development of an innovative drug treatment that has the potential to help the elderly to become fitter, faster and stronger, thus enabling them to live more active and independent lives as they age."

Learn more about aging effects on muscle:

The study examined the treatment of aged mice with muscle injury with either the intended drug or a placebo. They found that the aged mice treated with drug had increasing functional muscle stem cells that actively repaired the injured muscle. Additionally, no adverse drug effects were found. Results of the study were published in Biochemical Pharmacology.

Source: University of Texas-Galveston Medical Branch

About the Author
  • Nouran earned her BS and MS in Biology at IUPUI and currently shares her love of science by teaching. She enjoys writing on various topics as well including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
OCT 02, 2020
Immunology
Stop the Clot: A New Antibody Treatment for Thrombosis
OCT 02, 2020
Stop the Clot: A New Antibody Treatment for Thrombosis
Blood clotting helps stem the bleeding from a wound, suppressing blood loss and stopping pathogenic microorganisms from ...
OCT 22, 2020
Neuroscience
Psychedelic Experiences Reduce Narcissistic Personality Traits
OCT 22, 2020
Psychedelic Experiences Reduce Narcissistic Personality Traits
Researchers from the UK have found that psychedelic drugs can positively affect narcissistic personality traits- by redu ...
OCT 27, 2020
Cardiology
Boron Could Prevent Myocardial Fibrosis and Assist in Recovery
OCT 27, 2020
Boron Could Prevent Myocardial Fibrosis and Assist in Recovery
When you pass by the nutrition section at the local grocery store, there is a chance you’ll come across row upon r ...
OCT 11, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Treating Connective Tissue Disorders
OCT 11, 2020
Treating Connective Tissue Disorders
Collaborative research efforts are geared to improving disease that affects connective tissues via innovative drug deliv ...
OCT 18, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Virus-Mimicking Drug
OCT 18, 2020
Virus-Mimicking Drug
Scientists have found drug that a drug activates the body’s immune system by behaving like a virus and may make ce ...
NOV 02, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Type 2 Diabetic Drug Combo Proves Effective
NOV 02, 2020
Type 2 Diabetic Drug Combo Proves Effective
A common first-line therapeutic for type 2 diabetes is the metformin drug used to stabilize blood glucose levels. Althou ...
Loading Comments...