Muscles: Stronger for longer, even in old age
At 30, one is generally not considered to be “old”, but muscle loss and the associated loss of strength begin at this age. This process accelerates from around the age of 50. The decline in muscle mass leads to frailty, weakness and imbalance. This can result in falls and broken bones. Researchers are now reporting how you can stay strong longer in old age.
Unfortunately, with increasing life expectancy, the typical age-related diseases also increase. This includes the so-called sarcopenia, the excessive muscle loss in old age. A current one Message According to researchers from the Biozentrum at the University of Basel have now found that the age-related Muscle weakness delayed by an already known active ingredient. The study was published in the specialist journal “Nature Communications” released.
Age-related muscle loss slows down
Sufficiently trained muscles are a key requirement for maintaining health, independence and quality of life into old age. But muscle breakdown and the associated loss of strength already set in between the ages of 30 and 40. This is part of the natural aging process.
However, in some people the decline in muscle mass and function is excessive. This disease, also known as sarcopenia, affects around one in three people over the age of 80 and significantly limits the mobility, independence and quality of life of those affected.
The causes of this disease are manifold, they range from an altered muscle metabolism to the loss of nerve cells that stimulate the muscle. Researchers led by Prof. Markus Rüegg at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel have now found that the protein complex mTORC1 plays a role in sarcopenia and that its inhibition by the already known active ingredient rapamycin slows down age-related muscle breakdown.
Muscle function is maintained
“Contrary to our expectations, long-term treatment with rapamycin had a positive effect on the aging of the skeletal muscles in mice. Both muscle mass and muscle strength are largely retained, ”explains Daniel Ham, first author of the study.
“The connections between nerve cells and muscle fibers, which get worse with age, could also be stabilized with rapamycin. Stable and intact neuromuscular contact points are extremely important for healthy aging of the muscles. “
Permanent activation of mTORC1, on the other hand, accelerates muscle aging, as the scientists were able to further show.
Maintain quality of life longer
Together with Prof. Mihaela Zavolan’s team, the researchers found a molecular “signature” of sarcopenia, with mTORC1 as the central actor. They developed the tool so that scientists around the world can investigate how gene expression in skeletal muscles changes with age or after rapamycin treatment SarcoAtlaswhich is supported by sciCORE, the Center for Scientific Computing at the University of Basel.
According to the experts, there is currently no effective drug therapy for the treatment of sarcopenia. This study shows that age-related muscle weakness could possibly be delayed with the help of mTORC1 inhibitors, and thus ultimately the quality of life and independence of older people can be preserved for longer. (ad)
Author and source information
This text complies with the requirements of specialist medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical professionals.
- University of Basel: Muscles: Longer powerful even in old age (accessed: 09.09.2020) University of Basel
- The neuromuscular junction is a focal point of mTORC1 signaling in sarcopenia; in: Nature Communications, (veröffentlicht: 09.09.2020), Nature Communications
- Daniel J. Ham, Anastasiya Börsch, Shuo Lin, Marco Thürkauf, Martin Weihrauch, Judith R. Reinhard, Julien Delezie, Fabienne Battilana, Xueyong Wang, Marco S. Kaiser, Maitea Guridi, Michael Sinnreich, Mark M. Rich, Nitish Mittal, Lionel A. Tintignac, Christoph Handschin, Mihaela Zavolan, Markus A. Rüegg: University of Basel: SarcoAtlas: plot and analyze gene expression in skeletal muscles during aging, (accessed: 09.09.2020), SarcoAtlas
This article is for general guidance only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor.