Reducing Muscle Loss With Aging in Mice

Another potential method to treat or minimize the progession of sarcopenia: researchers "report that a family of protein transcription factors, called 'Forkhead (Fox0)' plays a significant role in the regulation of skeletal muscle mass. Specifically, they found that interfering with the activity of these transcription factors prevents muscle wasting associated with cancer and sepsis, and even promotes muscle growth. This discovery is likely to be relevant to any disease, condition or lifestyle that leads to muscle wasting, including voluntary inactivity. [Researchers] genetically inhibited the activity of 'Forkhead boxO' proteins, or 'FoxO,' in the skeletal muscle of healthy control mice, septic mice, and mice with cancer. The loss of muscle mass in those with cancer and sepsis was significantly decreased by inhibition of FoxO activity. In healthy control animals inhibiting FoxO activity caused an increase in muscle cell size which occurred as a result of protein synthesis. ... FoxO proteins may provide a target for therapies aimed at reducing muscle wasting and thus improving the quality of life and survival rates for patients with many different diseases."

Link: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-02/foas-nwn022912.php

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