SAGE KE Bulletin Board

Decreased muscle mass with advancing age

8 July 2002

Jennifer A. Fuller

Decreased muscle mass with advancing age is an important issue as it has been linked to increased mortality in the elderly. There are also obvious changes that occur in the skeletal muscle that occur with aging that are independent of muscle loss including loss of plasticity and a diminished regenerative capacity. Steroids are positive regulators of skeletal muscle mass but the molecular events and effects of aging on this regulation is not well understood.

This week, J. A. Carson et al, address some of these issues (J. Appl. Physiol. 93: 242-250, 2002) and found that anabolic steroids influence a number of testosterone-sensitive tissues. Nandrolone decanoate (ND) treatment was capable of reversing some age- related changes that occur in skeletal muscle tissue (i. e., lowered androgen receptor expression, decreased DNA content). Furthermore, ND treatment reduced both body weight and fat pad-to-body weight regardless of the age of the subject.

Science of Aging Knowledge Environment. ISSN 1539-6150