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CU-Boulder stem cell research may point to new ways of mitigating muscle loss
Date:2/16/2014

lls, said Olwin.

The CU-Boulder research team also identified a second cell-signaling pathway affecting skeletal muscle renewal a receptor known as the fibroblast growth factor receptor-1, or FGFR-1. The researchers showed when the FGFR-1 receptor protein was turned on in specially bred lab mice, the renewal of satellite cells increased significantly. "We still don't understand how that particular mechanism works," he said.

Another major finding of the study was that while satellite cells transplanted from young mice to other young mice showed significant renewal for up to two years, those transplanted from old mice to young mice failed. "We found definitively that satellite cells from an aged mouse are not able to maintain the ability to replenish themselves," Olwin said. "This is likely one of the contributors to loss of muscle mass during the aging process of humans."

Co-authors included first author and CU-Boulder postdoctoral researcher Jennifer Bernet, former CU-Boulder graduate student John K. Hall, CU-Boulder undergraduate Thomas Carter, and CU-Boulder postdoctoral researchers Jason Doles and Kathleen Kelly-Tanaka. The National Institutes of Health and the Ellison Medical Foundation funded the study.

Olwin said skeletal muscle function and mass decline with age in humans beginning at roughly age 40. While there are a variety of muscle-wasting diseases -- ranging from muscular dystrophy to Lou Gehrig's disease -- the condition known as sarcopenia can lead to severe muscle loss, frailty and eventual death and is leading to skyrocketing health care costs for the elderly. "If you live long enough, you'll get it," he said.

Olwin and his team worked closely on the research with a team from Stanford University led by Professor Helen Blau, which published a companion paper in the same issue of Nature Medicine. "We shared data with the Stanford team during the entire process and we all were very pleased with the
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Contact: Bradley Olwin
bradley.olwin@colorado.edu
303-492-6816
University of Colorado at Boulder
Source:Eurekalert

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