Partial inhibition of mTORC1 in aged rats counteracts the decline in muscle mass and reverses molecular signaling associated with sarcopenia

Giselle A. Joseph, Sharon X. Wang, Cody E. Jacobs, Weihua Zhou, Garrett C. Kimble, Herman W. Tse, John K. Eash, Tea Shavlakadze, David J. Glass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations

Abstract

There is a lack of pharmacological interventions available for sarcopenia, a progressive age-associated loss of muscle mass, leading to a decline in mobility and quality of life. We found mTORC1 (mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1), a well-established positive modulator of muscle mass, to be surprisingly hyperactivated in sarcopenic muscle. Furthermore, partial inhibition of the mTORC1 pathway counteracted sarcopenia, as determined by observing an increase in muscle mass and fiber type cross-sectional area in select muscle groups, again surprising because mTORC1 signaling has been shown to be required for skeletal muscle mass gains in some models of hypertrophy. Additionally, several genes related to senescence were downregulated and gene expression indicators of neuromuscular junction denervation were diminished using a low dose of a "rapalog" (a pharmacological agent related to rapamycin). Therefore, partial mTORC1 inhibition may delay the progression of sarcopenia by directly and indirectly modulating multiple age-associated pathways, implicating mTORC1 as a therapeutic target to treat sarcopenia.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00141-19
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biology
Volume39
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Aging
  • MTOR
  • MTORC1
  • Muscle
  • Rapalog
  • Rapamycin
  • Sarcopenia
  • Skeletal muscle

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