Uncovering the link to combating muscle atrophy caused by aging and immobility

Mitochondria play an important role in muscle development, regeneration, and maintenance, and problems with these can lead to muscle diseases such as muscle atrophy. The tethering of mitochondria to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is found in healthy cells, and this anchoring regulates metabolism, mitochondrial morphology, and calcium homeostasis. In people experiencing muscle atrophy, there is a sharp reduction in the number of mitochondria-associated membranes (MAMs) and lower levels of the protein Mitofusin2. The researchers found that the Notch signaling pathway was increased in muscle cells experiencing atrophy and that suppressing Notch signaling helped partially restore mitochondrial health. This study could lead to new treatment of muscle atrophy.

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