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Unlocking the Secrets of Age-Resistant Stem Cells for Muscle Regeneration

Age-resistant stem cells. Scientists from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), the National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC), ICREA, and Ciberned. Have identified a physiological mechanism that maintains the regenerative ability of muscle stem cells. Surprisingly enduring the test of time much more than expected, up to geriatric age.

This new study compiles the results of over seven years of research and collaborations with various European and US laboratories.

The Mechanism Behind Muscle Regeneration

Muscle regeneration relies on a population of muscle stem cells (satellite cells) that remain in a dormant or quiescent state. This state can be activated by damage or stress to form new muscle fibers and expand into new stem cells. It is known that the regenerative functions of these stem cells decrease with aging.

Distinguishing Resilient Stem Cells

Researchers have observed in experiments with mice that not all quiescent muscle stem cells are equal. They have identified a subgroup that retains its regenerative capability over time, only declining in geriatric age.

Superior Regenerative Capacity

This subgroup of quiescent stem cells exhibits a superior regenerative capacity through the activation of the signaling pathway associated with FoxO, a gene expression regulator previously linked to longevity. This activation sustains a youthful gene program throughout life.

However, the activation of FoxO in this subgroup of cells diminishes in geriatric age, resulting in a decline in functionality.

Implications for Rejuvenation

According to the findings, drugs that activate FoxO could have a rejuvenating effect on muscle tissue. This opens up possibilities for improving the health of elderly individuals weakened by muscle mass loss. Furthermore, as the experts conclude, it could also be beneficial for individuals who have lost muscle mass due to neuromuscular diseases or effects associated with cancer or infectious or inflammatory diseases.


This groundbreaking research highlights the resilience of muscle stem cells and their ability to retain regenerative capabilities, even into the geriatric age. The identification of a subgroup of cells with a superior regenerative capacity, maintained through the activation of the FoxO signaling pathway, underscores the potential for rejuvenating muscle tissue in aging populations. This discovery not only offers hope for elderly individuals suffering from muscle mass loss, but also opens avenues for treating muscle degeneration in patients with neuromuscular diseases, cancer, or inflammatory conditions. The study’s findings pave the way for future therapeutic interventions, demonstrating the critical role of stem cell research in regenerative medicine and health in aging.

Thereafter, be sure to visit our article What are stem cells?

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We specialize in treatments with human stem cells, led by Dr. Juan Antonio Garza Quintanilla, a specialist in stem cells. With over 36 years of research and clinical experience, we have proven the effectiveness of regenerative medicine and its incredible benefits for people who decide to recover their health.

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