18 April 2022

Therapy of sarcopenia

Experimental therapy restored the decrepit muscles of mice

Svetlana Maslova, Hi-tech+

Under the influence of treatment, the muscles recover and stop collapsing even after a long period of inactivity. These results are of great importance for strengthening the muscles of elderly people, as well as many patients who for some reason were in a long-term immobilized state.

Thanks to physical exertion, the muscles of young people recover quickly enough even after a long period of inactivity. The body of the elderly can no longer boast of such a level of regeneration, so it is almost impossible for them to restore muscle mass. Now scientists from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have shown that poorly differentiated connective tissue cells called pericytes can change the situation.

Article by Wu et al. Development of a cell-free strategy to recover aged skeletal muscle after disuse is published in the Journal of Physiology – VM.

In previous studies, it was found that injections of pericytes restored the muscles of young mice after a period of immobilization, but in older individuals the effect of treatment was significantly lower. For this reason, scientists isolated extracellular vesicles from pericytes and began to work with them. Extracellular vesicles are necessary for intercellular communication, and they are also associated with a decrease in cellular stress, scientists explain. For example, extracellular vesicles can be isolated from the blood of young mice and injected into old ones. As a result, the blood of the latter will more closely resemble the blood of young rodents in its properties.

New experiments with extracellular vesicles from pericytes have shown very impressive results. In old and young mice, the size of skeletal muscle fibers and extracellular matrix were restored, and there was also a decrease in signs of inflammation and oxidative stress. Differences were recorded only in the reduction of reactive oxygen species (the young had higher rates), but in general, the effect of treatment looked similar.

Until now, scientists did not know how pericytes contribute to the regeneration process. Now, with a better understanding of this mechanism, they plan to develop drugs to restore degenerative muscles.

Meanwhile, other researchers have previously presented an experimental drug that allows you to simultaneously lose weight, build muscle and become stronger. Preclinical experiments have also demonstrated outstanding results.

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