The paper is co-written by faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York, and Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden.
Muscle inflammation, or myositis, can be caused by infection, injury and chronic disease. However, specific forms of myositis like dermatomyositis and polymyositis occur when the body's immune system turns against its own muscles, damaging the muscle tissue in the process.
While there are plenty of prescribed medications to cope with muscular diseases, researcher Kanneboyina Nagaraju stated that the medication utilized only does half the job.
"All the drugs people are using target one immune cell or a group of immune cells, but there are no new drugs that target muscles that are dying," said Nagaraju. "Yet, exercise takes care of the immune cells that are killing the muscles, and repairs the cell death of the muscle."
Researchers found that endurance exercise altered microRNAs that target and downregulate immune processes, as well as decreasing different microRNAs that target and upregulate mitochondrial content at the protein level. That is, exercise creates microRNA that decreases the number of immune cells that attack the muscle and heals the muscle by increasing aerobic metabolism through mitochondrial biogenesis.
While there are no drugs today that target all the issues of muscle inflammation, Nagaraju believes a combination of medication and endurance-based exercise can help patients live a happier and healthier life.
The study appears in the journal PLOS ONE. (ANI)