jump to example.com
newsletter linked in

Study: Dying cells essential to muscle development and repair

uva-logoDying cells play an unexpected and vital role in the creation of muscle fibers, researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have determined. The finding could lead to new ways to battle conditions such as muscular dystrophy, facilitate healing after surgery and benefit athletes in their efforts to recover more quickly.

“These dead cells aren’t just a nuisance, which we’ve always considered them to be,” explained UVA’s Kodi S. Ravichandran, PhD. “They have other, important roles before they leave this world.”

Important Markers
Dying cells have long been considered debris that must be removed from the body to avoid causing tissue inflammation. However, the UVA research shows that a small number of myoblasts – precursor cells that develop into muscle tissue – must die to allow muscle formation.

The finding suggests that programmed cell death, known as apoptosis, can also influence differentiation of other healthy cells within a tissue. The dying cells express a marker on their surface that signals their death and spurs the body to remove them; that same marker on these dying cells, the UVA researchers discovered, cues surrounding cells to develop into muscle fibers. The UVA researchers have identified both the membrane marker on the dying cells (a lipid normally hidden on live cells) and a corresponding receptor in the healthy myoblasts that are induced to fuse, said Ravichandran, chairman of the School of Medicine’s Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology.

“It’s been known for a while that there are a few muscle cells that die during exercise, and that building muscle mass depends on a few of those cells dying,” Ravichandran said. “This work puts an interesting spin on that.”

Implications for Muscular Dystrophy?
The discovery opens up many intriguing avenues for researchers to explore, including the possibility of producing muscle growth either through the direct application of apoptotic cells or by otherwise stimulating the cellular signaling pathways on the healthy cells. The genes encoding the receptor protein (called BAI1) and some of the components of the signaling pathway are found to be altered in patients with muscular dystrophy and other forms of muscle disorders.

“Because this pathway seems to be involved in muscle repair after injury, this could be relevant for recovery after surgeries, combat injuries in soldiers or any condition that could lead to muscle injury or muscle atrophy,” Ravichandran said. “Take Duchenne muscular dystrophy, for example. One in 3,500 boys that are born have this disease. If we can help alleviate the distress of even a few of these individuals, we would have made significant progress.”

Published in Nature
The findings have been published online by the prestigious journal Nature and will appear in a forthcoming print edition (along with a News and Views highlighting the impact of the work). The article was authored by Amelia E. Hochreiter-Hufford, Chang Sup Lee, Jason M. Kinchen, Jennifer D. Sokolowski, Sanja Arandjelovic, Jarrod A. Call, Alexander L. Klibanov, Zhen Yan, James W. Mandell and Ravichandran.

 
Top Stories
a

North Carolina man extradited to face Waynesboro armed robbery charge

The Waynesboro Police Department extradited a North Carolina man to Virginia to face charges in a June 2015 armed robbery.

Video: Two new episodes of God and Country Music web TV series

Two new episodes of the new web TV series, God and Country Music, starring Waynesboro's own Tim Spears and AFP editor Chris Graham, are now online.

SMAC girls win state title

The Waynesboro Y year round competitive swim team, SMAC, recently competed in the Virginia Age Group State Championships in Christiansburg.

Complementary care: Helping Augusta Health Cancer Center patients heal

The Augusta Health Cancer Center is implementing a Healing Arts Program designed to help patients cope with the stress of having and surviving cancer.

Viewpoints: WVPT to launch weekly series featuring Chris Graham, Crystal Graham of AFP

WVPT will premiere a new weekly TV news show, Viewpoints, with co-hosts Chris Graham and Crystal Graham, on Wednesday, Aug. 3.

Ms. Angie’s Fund: Salvation Army to honor long-time case worker

Angie Engleman – Ms. Angie to so many in Waynesboro and Augusta County – is retiring, sorta, kinda, from The Salvation Army after 33 years.

 
Discussion
 
Recent News

AFP Business

Your One-Stop Media Shop

Augusta Free Press LLC provides clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia and beyond with marketing and PR solutions including web design, magazine/brochure, TV/radio, social media and overall marketing campaign design and implementation.
 

Advertise

Get information on readership and advertising online with us.
.

AFP Classes

Augusta Free Press offers a series of hour-long classes on website design, marketing strategy, social media, event planning and more.
.

Web Design

You want a new website, but don’t have the first clue as to how to build one. That’s our job. Get your business online for as little as $1,299.
.

Graphic Design

Whether you need a fresh business card design, rack card, ad, flyer or full magazine design, we can help with all your graphic-design needs.
.

Marketing/PR

Augusta Free Press manages advertising campaigns for small- and medium-sized businesses across Virginia. You don’t need to hire a full-time marketing coordinator. Bring the experience of the Augusta Free Press team to work for you – for a fraction of the cost.
.

Search Engine Optimization

The prettiest website in the world is like a tree falling in the forest with no one there to hear it. If your website hasn’t been search engine optimized, no one is going to see it or hear it – and it’s not going to work for you.


Video/Audio

Web videos, TV and radio commercials, DVDs – Augusta Free Press LLC has you covered when it comes to video and audio production.
.