• Open Access

The influence of skeletal muscle on systemic aging and lifespan

Authors

  • Fabio Demontis,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
    2. Division of Developmental Biology, Department of Developmental Neurobiology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA
    • Correspondence

      Dr. Fabio Demontis, Department of Developmental Neurobiology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, MS324, Memphis, TN 38105, USA. Tel.: +901 595 5444; fax: +901 595 7641; e-mail: Fabio.Demontis@stjude.org

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  • Rosanna Piccirillo,

    1. Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
    2. Department of Oncology, IRCCS - Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research, Milano, Italy
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  • Alfred L. Goldberg,

    1. Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
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  • Norbert Perrimon

    1. Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
    2. Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
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Summary

Epidemiological studies in humans suggest that skeletal muscle aging is a risk factor for the development of several age-related diseases such as metabolic syndrome, cancer, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Here, we review recent studies in mammals and Drosophila highlighting how nutrient- and stress-sensing in skeletal muscle can influence lifespan and overall aging of the organism. In addition to exercise and indirect effects of muscle metabolism, growing evidence suggests that muscle-derived growth factors and cytokines, known as myokines, modulate systemic physiology. Myokines may influence the progression of age-related diseases and contribute to the intertissue communication that underlies systemic aging.

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