The decline in skeletal muscle function associated with human ageing can be ascribed to an increasing number of mutations in satellite cells – the resident stem cells of skeletal muscle. This is demonstrated in a novel study led by Karolinska Institutet researcher Maria Eriksson and facilitated by the National Genomics Infrastructure (NGI) and the National Bioinformatics Infrastructure Sweden (NBIS) at SciLifeLab.
By obtaining outer thigh muscle biopsies from healthy volunteers and sequence the satellite cell genomes, the team was able to demonstrate that these stem cells accumulate mutations during life. The results also reveal that a higher number of mutations are correlated with reduced capacity of satellite cells to grow and differentiate into new skeletal muscle fibers. Further studies are required to confirm if the relationship is present also in other human muscles.
Read the full paper in Nature Communications