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Journal of Aging Research
Volume 2012, Article ID 251217, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/251217
Review Article

Novel Intriguing Strategies Attenuating to Sarcopenia

1Research Center for Physical Fitness, Sports and Health, Toyohashi University of Technology, 1-1 Hibarigaoka, Tenpaku-cho, Toyohashi 441-8580, Japan
2School of Dentistry, Health Sciences University of Hokkaido, Kanazawa, Ishikari-Tobetsu, Hokkaido 061-0293, Japan

Received 29 July 2011; Accepted 25 November 2011

Academic Editor: Olivier Guérin

Copyright © 2012 Kunihiro Sakuma and Akihiko Yamaguchi. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Sarcopenia, the age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass, is characterized by a deterioration of muscle quantity and quality leading to a gradual slowing of movement, a decline in strength and power, increased risk of fall-related injury, and, often, frailty. Since sarcopenia is largely attributed to various molecular mediators affecting fiber size, mitochondrial homeostasis, and apoptosis, the mechanisms responsible for these deleterious changes present numerous therapeutic targets for drug discovery. Resistance training combined with amino acid-containing supplements is often utilized to prevent age-related muscle wasting and weakness. In this review, we summarize more recent therapeutic strategies (myostatin or proteasome inhibition, supplementation with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) or ursolic acid, etc.) for counteracting sarcopenia. Myostatin inhibitor is the most advanced research with a Phase I/II trial in muscular dystrophy but does not try the possibility for attenuating sarcopenia. EPA and ursolic acid seem to be effective as therapeutic agents, because they attenuate the degenerative symptoms of muscular dystrophy and cachexic muscle. The activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator 1α (PGC-1α) in skeletal muscle by exercise and/or unknown supplementation would be an intriguing approach to attenuating sarcopenia. In contrast, muscle loss with age may not be influenced positively by treatment with a proteasome inhibitor or antioxidant.