Scientists have created a ‘Mighty Mouse’ that retains its enhanced muscle bulk as it ages

Scientists have created a ‘Mighty Mouse’ with muscles that stay powerful as it grows old.

The breakthrough paves the way for a pill to give pensioners the strength of their youth,
cutting the risk of falls and fractures in old age.

Such a drug could also benefit the young who suffer with crippling muscle-wasting diseases such as muscular dystrophy.

Stem cell research has created a muscle mouse that could pave the way for a muscle bulk pill for muscular dystrophy and the elderly

The experiments used stem-cell technology to beef up the muscles of mice, stopping them from withering as they aged.

Young animals with injured legs were given injections of stem cells and small pieces of muscle from healthy animals. The researchers expected the stem cells, which play a key role in repairing wear and tear, to help heal the injury. But the results far exceeded their expectations.

Not only was the injured muscle repaired within days but it quickly bulked up, reaching more than twice its original size.

And instead of withering over time, it remained large and powerful for the rest of the animal’s life.

Bradley Olwin, of the University of Colorado, said: ‘We found that the transplanted stem cells are permanently altered and reduce the ageing of the transplanted muscle, maintaining strength and mass. This was a very exciting and unexpected result.’

Stem cells are ‘blank cells’ with the ability to turn into other cell types.
In this case, it is thought that the injection of stem cells and muscle fibres enhanced the natural process of repair in the injured leg.

The researchers are checking if human stem cells have a similar effect when injected into mice.

They said: ‘If those experiments produce positive results, it would suggest that transplanting human muscle cells is feasible.’

An easier option would be creating a pill that kick-starts the stem cells normally found in muscle, the journal Science Translational Medicine reports.

A ‘muscle pill’ could also prove popular with athletes, from amateurs keen to speed up the healing of sprains to professionals anxious to be fit enough for key races.

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Thanks for finding this article Lisa. Although I'm not familiar with the UK Dailymail magazine I googled Bradley Olwin and sure enough he is legit. Very exciting to see stem cells moving forward!!

I have heard of one other researcher here in the US who accomplished much of the same thing (so far as I can tell), a Dr Fraidenraich, Director of Stem Cell Research, Asst Professor at New Jersey Medical School. He used iPS cells and ES on mouse models for cardiomyopathy and muscular dystrophy. Actually, I forwarded some info on Dr Fraidenraich to a couple heads of our non-profits and received mild responses. Not sure why exactically but I suspect stem cell therapy is still a bit far off and they do have an immune response issue to overcome.
The Daily Mail is one of the UK's more respected newspapers (generally) so they're usually pretty strict with their sources/what they print.

Stem cells probably are a way off, but at least steps are being taken to see how they can help MD.

Certainly makes me more determined to store the cord blood from my new baby anyway.
This sounds like the discovery of the "super baby", a kid with big muscles. They used the science to make meatier chickens. (Sorry, I know that sounds gross.) They thought it would help muscle wasting disease victims, but I don't think it panned out. I think it was discussed at an earlier PPMD conference. Check with someone from PPMD.
This also sounds a bit like the suppression of Myostatin that allows muscles to get larger.  Research is being done on this plus human growth factor.

I found the quote below on an Associated Press site.


“Now we can say that myostatin acts the same way in humans as in animals,” said the boy’s physician, Dr. Markus Schuelke, a professor in the child neurology department at Charite/University Medical Center Berlin. “We can apply that knowledge to humans, including trial therapies for muscular dystrophy.”

The New England Journal of Medicine of June 2004 discussed the "super boy", a child in Germany with a genetic disorder. Maybe you can look it up. I think they had done the mouse trials prior to the discovery of this child. The significance of the child is that, yes it might work the same way in people.

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