With age, our cells gradually lose their capacity to repair damage, even from normal wear and tear. A new paper discusses why this decline occurs in our skeletal muscle.
A team led by Dr. Michael Rudnicki, senior scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and professor of medicine at the University of Ottawa, found that as muscle stem cells age, their reduced function is a result of a progressive increase in the activation of a specific signaling pathway. Such pathways transmit information to a cell from the surrounding tissue. The particular culprit identified by Dr. Rudnicki and his team is called the JAK/STAT signalling pathway.