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Identification of a mechanism likely to attenuate the loss of muscle regeneration capacity in the elderly – Benin Actu

PARIS, August 22 (Benin News) –

Spanish researchers have identified a mechanism that maintains mitochondrial function in muscle stem cells that can be boosted in old age. According to the journal “Cell Stem Cell”, this mechanism could attenuate the loss of muscle regeneration capacity in the elderly.

Researchers from the Spanish National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC), Pompeu Fabra University, ICREA, the Center for Biomedical Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases (CIBERNED) and the Center for Biomedical Research Network in Frailty and Healthy Aging (CIBERFES) have identified a physiological mechanism that underlies the regenerative capacity of muscle stem cells, which decreases during aging.

However, as the study demonstrates, this dysfunction can be overcome genetically and pharmacologically, which makes it possible to restore the regenerative functions of old stem cells.

Skeletal muscle regeneration depends on a population of muscle stem cells (satellite cells) in a dormant or inactive state, a situation that can be triggered by damage or stress to form new muscle fibers and develop into new stem cells .

The regenerative functions of these stem cells are known to decline with aging. Today, Pura Muñoz-Cánoves, researcher at CNIC and professor at the MELIS department of the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) in Barcelona and at CIBERNED, and José Antonio Enríquez, researcher at CNIC and CIBERFES, and their colleagues discovered, in experiments on mice, that the dynamics of mitochondria are necessary for tissue regeneration.

Mitochondrial fission facilitates muscle stem cell function through OXPHOS and regulation of mitochondrial autophagy (mitophagy), they write in their paper.

Researchers have shown that genetic loss of the mitochondrial fission regulator DRP1 in muscle stem cells (or during aging) impairs their ability to proliferate and regenerate, while its restoration corrects these defects.

According to the results of the study, whose first author is Xiaotong Hong, a doctoral student at CNIC, the normalization of mitochondrial dynamics (or the increase in OXPHOS and mitophagy) in aged muscle stem cells restores the regeneration of fabrics.

According to them, this “opens the way to improving the health of the elderly who are weakened by the loss of the capacity of muscle regeneration”.

This study also involved the collaboration of researchers from the University of Cordoba and the University of Padua (Italy) and was partially funded by grants from the European Research Council (ERC), the Spanish Ministry of Science and innovation, the “la Caixa” foundation, the Human Frontier Science Program and the Leduq foundation (LeduqRedox).