Regenerative Medicine Approaches for Age-Related Muscle Loss and Sarcopenia: A Mini-Review

Juan Diego Naranjo, Jenna L. Dziki, Stephen F. Badylak*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Sarcopenia is a complex and multifactorial disease that includes a decrease in the number, structure and physiology of muscle fibers, and age-related muscle mass loss, and is associated with loss of strength, increased frailty, and increased risk for fractures and falls. Treatment options are suboptimal and consist of exercise and nutrition as the cornerstone of therapy. Current treatment principles involve identification and modification of risk factors to prevent the disease, but these efforts are of limited value to the elderly individuals currently affected by sarcopenia. The development of new and effective therapies for sarcopenia is challenging. Potential therapies can target one or more of the proposed multiple etiologies such as the loss of regenerative capacity of muscle, age-related changes in the expression of signaling molecules such as growth hormone, IGF-1, myostatin, and other endocrine signaling molecules, and age-related changes in muscle physiology like denervation and mitochondrial dysfunction. The present paper reviews regenerative medicine strategies that seek to restore adequate skeletal muscle structure and function including exogenous delivery of cells and pharmacological therapies to induce myogenesis or reverse the physiologic changes that result in the disease. Approaches that modify the microenvironment to provide an environment conducive to reversal and mitigation of the disease represent a potential regenerative medicine approach that is discussed herein.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)580-589
Number of pages10
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2017


  • Growth hormone
  • IGF-1
  • Myostatin
  • Physical therapy
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Sarcopenia
  • Satellite cells
  • Stem cells
  • Urocortin II
  • Vitamin D


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