Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

To keep muscles strong, the 'garbage' has to go

Date:
December 2, 2009
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
In order to maintain muscle strength with age, cells must rid themselves of the garbage that accumulates in them over time, just as it does in any household, according to a new study. In the case of cells, that waste material includes spent organelles, toxic clumps of proteins and pathogens.

In order to maintain muscle strength with age, cells must rid themselves of the garbage that accumulates in them over time, just as it does in any household, according to a new study in the December issue of Cell Metabolism. In the case of cells, that waste material includes spent organelles, toxic clumps of proteins, and pathogens.

The researchers made their discovery by studying mice that were deficient for a gene required for the tightly controlled process of degradation and recycling within cells known as autophagy. Those animals showed profound muscle atrophy and muscle weakening that worsened with age.

"If there is a failure of the system to remove what is damaged, and that persists, the muscle fiber isn't happy," said Marco Sandri of the University of Padova in Italy. Damaged and misfolded proteins pile up along with dysfunctional mitochondria, distended endoplasmic reticulum, free radicals, and other aberrant structures. Eventually, some of those muscle cells die, and "the muscles become weaker and weaker with age."

The muscle wasting observed in the mice seems to bear some resemblance to certain forms of muscle-wasting diseases, Sandri said. He now suspects that this kind of mechanism may offer insight into some of those still-unexplained conditions, as well as the muscle weakening that comes with normal aging (a condition known as sarcopenia).

Researchers knew before that excessive autophagy could also lead to muscle loss and disease. The new findings highlight the importance of maintaining a normal level of autophagy to clear away the debris and keep muscles working properly. Although the discovery seems to make perfect sense in retrospect, it wasn't what Sandri's team had initially anticipated.

"We thought if you reduced autophagy it might protect against atrophy," he said. "Instead, it's the opposite. We realized, OK, of course, if you don't remove the damage, it triggers weakness."

The findings may have clinical implications, he says. There has been interest in developing therapies to block proteins' degradation for treating certain muscle-wasting disorders. But in some cases, at least, "it may be better to activate autophagy and remove the garbage in the cells," Sandri said. The researchers think similar treatments might combat aging sarcopenia as well, noting that another study has shown a decline in the efficiency of autophagy during aging.

The researchers include Eva Masiero, Dulbecco Telethon Institute, Padova, Italy, Venetian Institute of Molecular Medicine, Padova, Italy, University of Padova, Padova, Italy; Lisa Agatea, Venetian Institute of Molecular Medicine, Padova, Italy; Cristina Mammucari, University of Padova, Padova, Italy; Bert Blaauw, Venetian Institute of Molecular Medicine, Padova, Italy, University of Padova, Padova, Italy; Emanuele Loro, Venetian Institute of Molecular Medicine, Padova, Italy; Masaaki Komatsu, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science, Tokyo, Japan; Daniel Metzger, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, INSERM, Illkirch-Cedex, France; Carlo Reggiani, University of Padova, Padova, Italy; Stefano Schiaffino, University of Padova, Padova, Italy; and Marco Sandri, Dulbecco Telethon Institute, Padova, Italy, Venetian Institute of Molecular Medicine, Padova, Italy, University of Padova, Padova, Italy.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "To keep muscles strong, the 'garbage' has to go." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091201131738.htm>.
Cell Press. (2009, December 2). To keep muscles strong, the 'garbage' has to go. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091201131738.htm
Cell Press. "To keep muscles strong, the 'garbage' has to go." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091201131738.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) An entomologist stumbled upon a South American Goliath Birdeater. With a name like that, you know it's a terrifying creepy crawler. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Adorable Video of Baby Rhino and Lamb Friend Playing

Adorable Video of Baby Rhino and Lamb Friend Playing

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) Gertjie the Rhino and Lammie the Lamb are teaching the world about animal conservation and friendship. TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) has the adorable video! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins