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No workout? No worries: Scientists prevent muscle loss in mice, despite disease and inactivity

Date:
February 29, 2012
Source:
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Summary:
If you want big muscles without working out, there's hope. Scientists report a family of protein transcription factors, called "Forkhead (Fox0)," that plays a significant role in the regulation of skeletal muscle mass. Interfering with Fox0 prevented muscle wasting associated with cancer and sepsis, and even promoted muscle growth. This is likely relevant to any disease, condition or lifestyle that leads to muscle wasting.

If you want big muscles without working out, there's hope. In the March 2012 print issue of the FASEB Journal, scientists from the University of Florida report that a family of protein transcription factors, called "Forkhead (Fox0)" plays a significant role in the regulation of skeletal muscle mass. Specifically, they found that interfering with the activity of these transcription factors prevents muscle wasting associated with cancer and sepsis, and even promotes muscle growth. This discovery is likely to be relevant to any disease, condition or lifestyle that leads to muscle wasting, including voluntary inactivity.

"The loss of muscle mass is a major contributor to disease-related deaths," said Andrew R. Judge, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Florida in Gainesville. "FoxO proteins may provide a target for therapies aimed at reducing muscle wasting and thus improving the quality of life and survival rates for patients with many different diseases."

To make this discovery, Judge and colleagues genetically inhibited the activity of "Forkhead boxO" proteins, or "FoxO," in the skeletal muscle of healthy control mice, septic mice, and mice with cancer. The loss of muscle mass in those with cancer and sepsis was significantly decreased by inhibition of FoxO activity. In healthy control animals inhibiting FoxO activity caused an increase in muscle cell size which occurred as a result of protein synthesis.

"No one can deny that the human body was meant to move, and to move often," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of the FASEB Journal, "but the reality is that many of us don't move enough, whether because of disease, injury, or simply a busy schedule. This discovery is another important step towards the treatment of muscle wasting in cancer, severe infection or aging -- or to maintain our muscle mass to help face the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. S. A. Reed, P. B. Sandesara, S. M. Senf, A. R. Judge. Inhibition of FoxO transcriptional activity prevents muscle fiber atrophy during cachexia and induces hypertrophy. The FASEB Journal, 2011; 26 (3): 987 DOI: 10.1096/fj.11-189977

Cite This Page:

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "No workout? No worries: Scientists prevent muscle loss in mice, despite disease and inactivity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 February 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120229105135.htm>.
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. (2012, February 29). No workout? No worries: Scientists prevent muscle loss in mice, despite disease and inactivity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120229105135.htm
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "No workout? No worries: Scientists prevent muscle loss in mice, despite disease and inactivity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120229105135.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

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