Development of therapies against neuromuscular diseases causing muscle atrophy

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Abstract

Skeletal muscles become atrophied by muscular disorders such as muscular dystrophy, wasting and even aging. In addition to muscle atrophy, progressive muscle damage, inflammation and replacement of muscle fibers with fibrous and fatty tissues are observed in muscular dystrophy. Neuronal innervation is required for skeletal muscle, and muscles become atrophic when motor neurons are affected by neurodegenerative disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Restoring muscle mass and function lost by diseases such as muscular dystrophy and neurodegenerative disorders is important. There are three rational therapies for muscular dystrophy and related diseases: gene therapy, cell therapy and drug therapy. Gene therapies to replace the defective genes have been tried with various degrees of effectiveness. Multiple myogenic stem cells including satellite cells, bone marrow cells, muscle side population cells, muscle-derived stem cells and mesoangioblast have been characterized. Cell therapies using these stem cells are one of the promising therapies for neuromuscular diseases causing muscle atrophy. As pharmacological drug therapies, increasing skeletal muscle mass by myostatin inhibition is quite promising and will be applied clinically in the near future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-233
Number of pages5
JournalJapanese Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology
Volume26
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 01-11-2006

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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