New research provides new insight into age-related muscle decline
“At a minimum, we hope this research leads to new ways of approaching an inevitable decline in physical performance and age of other diseases among older people dependent,” said Atanu Duttaroy, associate professor of biology at Howard University in Washington, DC , and one of the researchers involved in this work.
To make their discovery, Duttaroy and his colleagues built on their previous research showing that ROS induced cellular damage that occurs in the same way in fruit flies and mice. They started with fruit flies that lack the mitochondrial enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD), which provides the first line of defense against ROS by trapping of superoxide and turn them into water. This lack of SOD caused fruit flies to die within a day after hatching. Then, through genetic manipulation, researchers “became” the production of SOD separately in nerves and muscles. SOD in the nerves do not seem to make a significant difference in prolonging the life of fruit flies’, but to make a difference when you have set in your muscles. The survival of fruit flies with SOD “on” in increasing their muscles, and for several days, remained as active as their normal counterparts. The measurement of muscle activity also showed that SOD contributed to the normal work of the muscle, helping the survivors.
“It has long been known that the oxygen we breathe can be toxic, and this work provides a concrete example of that, with real consequences.” Editor said Mark Johnston-in-Chief of the journal Genetics. “As baby boomers age, the need to help older people stay mobile and fit has never been greater in our lives. This study helps address this need by providing information about what causes physical decay, and turn, brings us a step closer to finding ways to stop or reverse it. “
More information: Tanja Godenschwege, Renée Forde, Claudette P. Davis, Anirban Paul, Kristopher Beckwith, and Atanu Duttaroy
Mitochondrial Superoxide Radicals Differentially Affect Muscle Activity and Neural Function Genetics 2009 183: 175-184. http://www.genetics.org/cgi/content/abstract/183/1/175
Source: Genetics Society of America