Skeletal muscle is a fundamental organ in the generation of force and movement, the regulation of whole-body metabolism, and the provision of resiliency. Indeed, physical medicine and rehabilitation is recognized for optimizing skeletal muscle health in the context of aging (sarcopenia) and disease (cachexia). Exercise is, and will remain, the cornerstone of therapies to improve skeletal muscle health. However, there are now a number of promising biologic and small molecule interventions currently under development to rejuvenate skeletal muscle, including myostatin inhibitors, selective androgen receptor modulators, and an activator of the fast skeletal muscle troponin complex. The opportunities for skeletal muscle-based regenerative therapies and a selection of emerging pharmacologic interventions are discussed in this review.
From the Research Program in Men’s Health: Aging and Metabolism, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts (RJ); and Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Robert and Arlene Kogod Center on Aging, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota (NKL).
All correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to: Nathan K. LeBrasseur, PT, PhD, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905.
Supported by the Boston Claude D. Pepper Center 5P30AG031679 (R. Jasuja), Mayo Clinic, and a generous gift from Robert and Arlene Kogod (N.K. LeBrasseur).
Presented at the 2013 American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Annual Assembly by N.K. LeBrasseur.
Financial disclosure statements have been obtained, and no conflicts of interest have been reported by the authors or by any individuals in control of the content of this article.