SKELETAL MUSCLES in DISEASES and AGING
Searching for molecules to preserve and repair skeletal muscles
We have discovered that dysregulation of the cholinergic system with aging accelerates atrophy of skeletal muscles (Sugita S, SM 2016; Vaughan SK, Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience 2019).
Age-Related Muscle Atrophy
Skeletal muscles atrophy with advancing age, compromising mobility and increasing the rate of adverse health outcomes. Our lab has several ongoing projects aimed at identifying endogenous molecules that function to preserve and increase muscle mass in old age.
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD)
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is a rapidly progressing muscle disease. To complement ongoing efforts to generate gene therapy vehicles to treat DMD, our lab is searching for endogenous molecules that increase repair of muscles damaged in DMD.
Recently, we discovered that miR-133b, a microRNA, modifies the progression of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy partly by regulating the number of muscle stem cells (Red cells in images; see Taetzsch T, Journal of Physiology 2021)
Emery-Dreyfuss Muscular Dystrophy (EDMD)
Emery-Dreyfuss Muscular Dystrophy (EDMD) results from mutations in the emerin gene, and a few others. To date, research to treat EDMD has been hampered by the lack of animal models and cells in culture that recapitulate the pathological features of patients with this disease. To overcome this limitation, we generated rats lacking the Emerin gene. We will report on whether or not these rats present with EDMD-related symptoms in the coming months.