Rejuvenation of Muscle Stem Cells in the Aged
As we age, our muscles get weaker and lose their ability to repair themselves. In healthy adults, muscles proficiently regenerate, relying on a repair process driven by a rare population of resident stem cells. These muscle stem cells, often called satellite cells, are alerted to divide and repair muscle tissue after minor injuries but fail to do so in elderly muscles.
Benjamin Cosgrove’s group investigates why stem cells in more aged tissues fail to respond to injuries. They apply bioengineering approaches to dissect how changes to stem cells and the microenvironment of surrounding tissue result in altered repair functions with aging.
The Cosgrove lab uses biological network modeling approaches to identify cell regulatory pathways that underlie muscle stem cell dysfunction in aging. The lab aims to reveal new therapeutic approaches to prolong the regenerative capacity of elderly muscle. Cosgrove demonstrated the foundation for this approach in a recent paper from his postdoctoral research published in Nature Medicine (2014). NIH Grant Number: 5R00AG042491-04