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Fat yet muscular mouse provides clues to improving cardiovascular health
Date:11/22/2010

scle stop" - is found at low levels during development but increases in adulthood when growth is supposed to stop. "If you express myostatin, your muscles stop growing at some point," he said. Exercise can help reduce myostatin levels and build muscle.

Stepp is studying a mouse that is a cross between "mighty mouse," a muscular rodent that lacks myostatin, and one that gets fat because of a diminished fullness sensation. The resulting mouse is literally quite a handful, said Stepp, noting that, unlike humans, mice tend not to overeat unless changes are made to food centers in the brain.

He wants to see whether the fat but muscular mouse has better cardiovascular function than its purely fat counterparts. That means looking at various related factors such as the ability to dilate blood vessels, which improves blood flow; production of antioxidants that promote inflammation and cardiovascular damage; and the heart's ability to pump blood.

These pursuits can help determine how muscle and exercise benefit the cardiovascular system as they target one of obesity's most debilitating and deadly risks.

"Even if you don't lose weight, exercise does good things. It limits metabolic damage, it limits cardiovascular damage," Stepp noted. "If we could get people over the hump where they could be stronger, they can be more active and hopefully lose some weight."


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Contact: Toni Baker
tbaker@mcg.edu
706-721-4421
Medical College of Georgia
Source:Eurekalert  

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