Two weeks ago our good friend Scicurious published a blog post on a very interesting new paper, which examines the impact of both exercise and caloric restriction on the neuromuscular junction in mice. This neuromuscular junction (NMR for short) is the link between our nerves and our muscles. Problems in the NMR mean problems with muscle function, which is a bad thing. This new paper, published in PNAS, suggests that caloric restriction (essentially prolonged under-eating) can dramatically reduce age-related changes in the NMR, while just one month of exercise in old mice can actually undo most of the age-related damage once it has been done. Putting aside my thoughts on the safety and long-term effectiveness of caloric restriction in humans, this was still an extremely cool paper, and extremely cool blog post by Scicurious. And now, it is also a podcast!
On this episode of the Obesity Panacea podcast, Scicurious recaps the study in lay-terms for those of us who are not well-versed in nerve function, and the two of us discuss the implications of these findings for human health and future research. I’ve included the images from Sci’s original blog post and the article itself below, so that people can follow along while they listen to the podcast.
Valdez, G., Tapia, J., Kang, H., Clemenson, G., Gage, F., Lichtman, J., & Sanes, J. (2010). Attenuation of age-related changes in mouse neuromuscular synapses by caloric restriction and exercise Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107 (33), 14863-14868 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1002220107