Can We Reverse Severe Muscle Loss?
When we tear a muscle " stem cells within it repair the problem. We can see this occurring not only in severe muscle wasting diseases such as muscular dystrophy and in war veterans who survive catastrophic limb injuries, but also in our day to day lives when we pull a muscle.
Also when we age and become frail we lose much of our muscle and our stem cells don't seem to be able to work as well as we age.
Researchers at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia have discovered a factor that triggers these muscle stem cells to proliferate and heal. In a mouse model of severe muscle damage, injections of this naturally occurring protein led to the complete regeneration of muscle and the return of normal movement after severe muscle trauma.
The study, published in the journal Nature, showed that injections of NAMPT, a protein secreted from macrophages, in mice with severe muscle damage, restored muscle complete and normal movement after severe muscle trauma.
Researchers are preparing to launch clinical trials for the use of NAMPT in the treatment of muscle disease and injuries.
Ratnayake D, et al. Macrophages provide a transient muscle stem cell niche via NAMPT secretion. Nature, 2021. http://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03199-7