The main cause of sarcopenia
Scientists have found the main cause of aging of human muscles
Yulia Koshkina, Naked Science
Biologists from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden have discovered that muscle aging occurs due to the accumulation of mutations in stem cells that disrupt the regeneration process.
The new study analyzed the number of mutations that accumulate in muscle cells.
"We were surprised by the discovered number of mutations. We saw that a healthy 70-year–old has accumulated more than 1,000 mutations in each stem cell in the muscles and that these mutations are not random, but there are certain areas that are better protected," said Maria Eriksson, professor of the Department of Biological Sciences and Nutrition at the Karolinska Institute.
Mutations occur during natural cell division, especially those areas that are responsible for the normal functioning and survival of cells are subject to changes. At a younger age, the resistance of cells to mutations is much higher, whereas with age this protection decreases. "We found out that protection lies in the cell's ability to repair DNA. And this is what we should be based on when developing new therapies," explains Eriksson.
According to the authors of the study, the results of scientific work will help to create effective methods of combating age-related muscle weakness. In particular, the scientists plan to find out how exercise affects the number of accumulated mutations: increase their number or, conversely, contribute to the purification of the cell from them.
Earlier, scientists from Harvard found out that aging does not have a single mechanism: all factors (genetic processes or environmental factors) are involved equally. Other American researchers have discovered a gene whose mutations can dramatically accelerate the aging of the brain in old age.
The study is published in Nature Communications (Franco et al., Somatic mutagenesis in satellite cells associates with human skeletal muscle aging).
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