MDI Biological Laboratory Discovers Protection of Muscle During Dietary Restriction

MDI Biological Laboratory, a Maine-based biomedical research institution, has discovered that muscle may be a protected tissue under dietary restriction conditions.

Dietary restriction has been a robust anti-aging intervention tool for a while now. This process has the patient restrict calories without reaching malnutrition. In face of the scarce nutrients, the organism conserves resources by lowering the translation of proteins. Protein translation is one of the most energetically costly processes in a cell.

By conserving these cellular resources, the organism can reproduce when food becomes available but comes at the cost of reduced anabolic function, growth, and reproduction.

Aric N. Rogers, PH.D. at MDI Biological Labs has studied the cellular and molecular mechanisms of aging. Rogers has worked with tiny nematode worms, C. elegans, to evaluate the impact of suppressed protein translation. Skin, nerve, and reproductive tissues responded as expected with enhanced survival and decreased growth and reproduction, muscle experienced the opposite effect.

Muscle tissue experienced accelerated growth and reproduction instead of suppression.  

  1. elegans is a popular model in aging research because it shares many of its genes with humans, including those governing nutrient-sensing pathways, and because its short lifespan allows scientists to rapidly assess the effects of anti-aging interventions.

This discovery could contribute to the development of anti-aging drugs without side effects. 

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