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Injecting cells that support blood vessel growth could help restore muscle mass: Study

ANI | Updated: Apr 26, 2019 21:47 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 26 (ANI): A recent study has suggested that by injecting cells that support blood vessel growth researchers were able to restore lost muscle mass.
The study, published in Journal of The FASEB, was conducted on adult mice, and the new findings are expected to help restore lost muscle mass in elderly or disabled adults.
"Just as the mice were becoming mobile again, we transplanted the pericytes and we found that there was full recovery of both muscle mass and the vasculature, too," said lead researcher, Marni Boppart.
The mice that received the injections had significantly better improvement than those that regained mobility without the injections.
The team also observed that muscle immobility itself led to a significant decline in the abundance of pericytes in the affected muscle tissues.
"This has never been documented before," Boppart said.
The research is part of a long-term effort to understand the factors that contribute to the loss of muscle mass -- in particular as a result of immobility.
"We know that if you are under a condition of disuse -- for example, as a result of long-term bed rest, or the immobilisation of a body part in a cast -- you lose muscle mass. And even when you come out of that state of immobility and you start moving your muscles again, there's this really long, slow process of recovery," Boppart said.
Researchers have long searched for clinical interventions that can help restore lost muscle mass and impaired function as a result of inactivity. 
"To my knowledge, no one has demonstrated that anything has been effective in improving the recovery process. We're excited by the new findings because we hope to one day use these cells or biomaterials derived from these cells to help restore lost muscle mass, particularly in elderly or disabled adults who are most likely to see a decline in their overall health as a result of the decline in muscle viability," said Boppart.  (ANI)