Skeletal muscles repair by themselves from injuries. However at times due to age or disease these muscles are not able to heal itself. Researchers have identified a molecule that when is deficient, is actually helpful to muscle regeneration.
Researchers from University of Illinois-Chicago had reported in their findings that deficient plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) promotes muscle regeneration and this may be targeted to treatment in cases of muscle degeneration due to age or disease. The plasminogen system has multiple functions and act together with the growth factors, inflammatory factors and other systems.
Investigators have found in parallel animal studies that mice, which were lacking in the PAI-1, had increased activity of an enzyme called urokinase-type plasminogen activator in the damaged muscle. This had resulted in increase in proteins like the myogenic transcription factor MyoD that had led to faster muscle regeneration and repair after injury.
Muscle regeneration after injury is important and when this does not happen due to disease or age, it may lead to muscles not being able to recover from damage due to exercise, surgery of trauma. Also disease conditions like Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and other muscular degenerative disease may hinder the normal muscle regeneration.
Reference: American Journal of Physiology-Cell Physiology, July 2005