Mitochondrial Damage and Sarcopenia

Following up on work published last year, here's more on evidence for a link between accumulating damage to mitochondrial DNA and sarcopenia, age-related muscle loss: "Aging is associated with a progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength and the mechanisms mediating these effects likely involve mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations, mitochondrial dysfunction and the activation of mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis. Because the mitochondrial genome is densely packed and close to the main generator of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the cell, the electron transport chain (ETC), an important role for mtDNA mutations in aging has been proposed. Point mutations and deletions in mtDNA accumulate with age in a wide variety of tissues in mammals, including humans, and often coincide with significant tissue dysfunction. Here, we examine the evidence supporting a causative role for mtDNA mutations in aging and sarcopenia. We review experimental outcomes showing that mtDNA mutations, leading to mitochondrial dysfunction and possibly apoptosis, are causal to the process of sarcopenia."

Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17997255

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