Long, thin, well-defined muscle fibers (top left) are in shambles after prolonged inflammation (top right), but maintain their structure (bottom left) and strength (bottom right) when exercised during the inflammation.
- Biomedical engineers at Duke University have demonstrated that human muscle has an innate ability to ward off the damaging effects of chronic inflammation when exercised.
- “We discovered that the muscle cells were capable of taking anti-inflammatory actions all on their own.”
- “We know that chronic inflammatory diseases induce muscle atrophy, but we wanted to see if the same thing would happen to our engineered human muscles grown in a Petri dish,” said Zhaowei Chen.
- “Not only did we confirm that interferon gamma primarily works through a specific signaling pathway, we showed that exercising muscle cells can directly counter this pro-inflammatory signaling independent of the presence of other cell types or tissues.”
- They then showed that simulated exercise inhibited a specific molecular pathway in muscle cells, and that two drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, tofacitinib and baricitinib, which block the same pathway, had the same anti-inflammatory effect.
- “When exercising, the muscle cells themselves were directly opposing the pro-inflammatory signal induced by interferon gamma, which we did not expect to happen,” said Bursac. “These results show just how valuable lab-grown human muscles might be in discovering new mechanisms of disease and potential treatments.
Original Article: Exercising Muscle Combats Chronic Inflammation On Its Own
More from: Duke University on Innovation2
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