Scientists at EPFL have discovered that Alzheimer’s-like protein aggregates underly the muscle deterioration seen in aging. But the aggregates can be reversed by boosting the levels of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), which turns on the defense systems of mitochondria in cells and restores muscle function.
The older we grow, the weaker our muscles get, riddling old age with frailty and physical disability. But this doesn’t only affect the individual, it also creates a significant burden on public healthcare. And yet, research efforts into the biological processes and biomarkers that define muscle aging have not yet defined the underlying causes.
Now, a team of scientists from lab of Johan Auwerx at EPFL’s School of Life Sciences looked at the issue through a different angle: the similarities between muscle aging and degenerative muscle diseases. They have discovered protein aggregates that deposit in skeletal muscles during natural aging, and that blocking this can prevent the detrimental features of muscle aging. The study is published in Cell Reports.
“During age-associated muscle diseases, such as inclusion body myositis (IBM), our cells struggle to maintain correct protein folding, leading these misfolded proteins to precipitate and forming toxic protein aggregates within the muscles,” explains Auwerx. “The most prominent component of these protein aggregates is beta-amyloid, just like in the amyloid plaques in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.”
In the study, the scientists identify amyloid-like protein aggregates in aged muscles from different species, from the nematode C. elegans all the way to humans. In addition, they also found that these aggregates also impair mitochondrial function. Although aggregated proteins have been suggested to contribute to brain aging, this is the first time that they have been shown to contribute to muscle aging and to directly damage mitochondria. “These abnormal proteotoxic aggregates could serve as novel biomarkers for the aging process, beyond the brain and muscle,” says Auwerx.
But can the formation of the protein aggregates be reversed? To answer this, the researchers fed worms the vitamin nicotinamide riboside and the antitumor agent Olaparib, both of which boost the levels of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), a biomolecule that is essential for maintaining mitochondrial function, and whose levels decline during aging.
In the worms, the two compounds turned on the defense systems of the mitochondria, even when provided at advanced age. Turning on the so-called “mitochondrial quality control system” reduced the age-related amyloid protein aggregates and improved the worms’ fitness and lifespan.
The scientists then moved on to human muscle tissue, taken from aged subjects and IBM patients. Turning on the same mitochondrial quality control systems produced similar improvements in protein and mitochondrial homeostasis. The encouraging results led the researchers to test nicotinamide riboside in aged mice. The treatment also activated the mitochondrial defense systems and reduced the number and size of amyloid aggregates in different skeletal muscle tissues.
“Drugs that boost mitochondrial quality control could therefore be tested in the clinic to reverse these age-related proteotoxic aggregates and rejuvenate tissues,” says Mario Romani, the first author of the study.
The Latest Updates from Bing News & Google News
Go deeper with Bing News on:
Age-related muscle deterioration
- Physical activity may prevent accumulation of metabolic risk factors in menopausal women
A study conducted at the University of Jyväskylä in the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences shows that menopausal transition is associated with unfavourable changes in metabolic health that may be ...
- Physical activity needed more as you grow older, say researchers
The researchers said that physical activity later in life shifted energy away from processes that compromised health and toward mechanisms in the body that extended it.
- Research finds physical activity needed more as you grow older
Everyone knows that physical activity is very important to have a healthy body It not only keeps your muscle and joints strong but also fights against certain ...
- Evaluating Dietary Recommendations for Sarcopenia
Although the term sarcopenia was introduced in 1988, we haven’t learned enough about it since. When the term debuted decades ago, the original definition was a ''muscle loss" of the appendicular ...
- How Exercise in Later Life Can Extend Our "Healthspan"
Some people can even rattle off reasons it keeps your muscles and joints ... to remain physically active as they age—and in doing so to allocate energy to physiological processes that slow the body’s ...
Go deeper with Google Headlines on:
Age-related muscle deterioration
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- Heart repair and regeneration after a heart attack: A review
Twenty years ago, clinicians first attempted to regenerate a failing human heart by injecting muscle myoblasts into the heart during a bypass operation. Despite high initial hopes and multiple ...
- Satellos Bioscience Reports Third Quarter 2021 Financial Results and Operational Highlights
Satellos positioned to pursue the development of first-in-class regenerative therapeutic treatments for degenerative muscle diseases.Toronto, Ontario--(Newsfile Corp. - November 29, 2021) - Satellos ...
- Inside the Innovative Lab Growing Mammal Tissue Using Plants as Scaffolds
Researchers at the University of Ottawa have used apple flesh to create human tissue in the shape of an ear and asparagus stalks to regenerate spinal cords ...
- Nerve Repair and Regeneration Market Size to Reach USD 11.62 Billion in 2027 | Emergen Research
According to Emergen Research, the global nerve repair and regeneration market size was USD 6.05 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach USD 11.62 Billion in 2027 and register a revenue CAGR of 9.0% ...
- Single-Cell Database Provides Insights Into Muscle Repair
After a muscle injury, stem cells split and differentiate into many types of specialized cells, each playing a role in the healing process. Engineers have now lifted the curtain on the dynamics of ...