Satellite Cells remind us WHY it’s important to exercise

Exciting new research and info continues to help remind us why it’s so important for us to educate our clients on The “Why” behind exercise being crucial to optimizing health, vitality and feeling fit! Remember, it’s not just something you or your clients do just to recover from an injury, train for a race or look good for summer…exercise is an essential component of movement…and like most sharks need to swim to stay alive, we need to stay motivated to move, to stay healthy and active. Please read the info below from the Director of the NIH Dr. Collins…and remember…

Stand Tall!

By Dr. Francis Collins:

As many of us know from hard experience, tearing a muscle while exercising can be a real pain. The good news is that injured muscle will usually heal quickly for many of us with the help of satellite cells. Never heard of them? They are the adult stem cells in our skeletal muscles long recognized for their capacity to make new muscle fibers called myotubes.

This striking image shows what happens when satellite cells from mice are cultured in a lab dish. With small adjustments to the lab dish’s growth media, those cells fuse to form myotubes. Here, you see the striated myotubes (red) with multiple cell nuclei (blue) characteristic of mature muscle fibers. The researchers also used a virus to genetically engineer some of the muscle to express a fluorescent protein (green).

Credit: Kevin Murach, Charlotte Peterson, and John McCarthy, University of Kentucky, Lexington

The NIH-funded team—including Kevin Murach, Charlotte Peterson, and John McCarthy at the University of Kentucky, Lexington—snapped this image using a standard fluorescent microscope. It was selected as a winner in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology’s 2017 BioArt competition.

The findings suggest that satellite cells play important roles in influencing the environment and characteristics of muscle. While the work is ongoing, it suggests the loss of satellite cells, which occurs as we age, may help to explain why our muscles can grow weaker and increasingly fibrotic over the years. That’s why a weekly exercise regimen is so important as we age, to stay fit and keep building healthy muscle fibers like those shown in this impressive BioArt winner. It’s always a good week to hit the gym!

Dr. Collins is a physician-geneticist noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the international Human Genome Project, which culminated in April 2003 with the completion of a finished sequence of the human DNA instruction book. He served as director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at NIH from 1993-2008. Before coming to NIH, Dr. Collins was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at the University of Michigan. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in November 2007, and received the National Medal of Science in 2009. Dr. Collins currently serves as the 16th Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

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