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Redox homeostasis and age-related deficits in neuromuscular integrity and function

Sakellariou, GK and Lightfoot, AP and Earl, KE and Stofanku, M and McDonagh, B (2017) Redox homeostasis and age-related deficits in neuromuscular integrity and function. Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle. ISSN 2190-5991

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Abstract

Skeletal muscle is a major site of metabolic activity and is the most abundant tissue in the human body. Age-related muscleatrophy (sarcopenia) and weakness, characterized by progressive loss of lean muscle mass and function, is a major contributorto morbidity and has a profound effect on the quality of life of older people. With a continuously growing older population(estimated 2 billion of people aged >60 by 2050), demand for medical and social care due to functional deficits, associatedwith neuromuscular ageing, will inevitably increase. Desp ite the importance of this ‘epidemic’ problem, the primarybiochemical and molecular mechanisms underlying age-related deficits in neuromuscular integrity and function have not beenfully determined. Skeleta l muscle generates reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS) from a variety of subcellular sources,and age-associated oxidative damage has been suggested to be a major fac tor contributing to the initiation and progression ofmuscle atrophy inherent with ageing. RONS can modulate a variety of intracellular signal transduction processes, anddisruption of these events over time due to altered redox control has been proposed as an underlying mechanis m of ageing.The role of oxidants in ageing has been extensively examined in different model organisms that have undergone geneticmanipulations with inconsistent findings. Transgenic and knockout rodent studies have provided insight into the function ofRONS regulatory systems in neuromuscular ageing. This review summarizes almost 30 years of research in the field of redoxhomeostasis and muscle ageing, providing a detailed discussion of the experimental approaches that have been undertaken inmurine models to examine the role of redox regulation in age-related muscle atrophy and weakness.

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