Loss of NAD homeostasis leads to progressive and reversible degeneration of skeletal muscle

Loss of NAD homeostasis leads to progressive and reversible degeneration of skeletal muscle

Published in Cell Metabolism.

Our cells need NAD to fuel our metabolism. However, aging and exposure to environmental stresses can deplete the amount of NAD in our tissues. In this study, researchers were working to establish how low these levels of NAD can go before tissues start to malfunction.

They first eliminated an enzyme in the mice which is necessary for their bodies to make NAD. This caused the NAD in their muscle tissue to decline by 85%, which led to a dramatic loss of muscle strength and treadmill endurance. Then the researchers gave the mice NR, which the body uses to make NAD. Their muscle mass and exercise endurance were restored, even when there was only a modest amount of NAD in their muscles. Additionally, when the mice were given a life-long over-abundance of Nampt, their exercise capacity and their muscle levels of NAD were preserved as they aged.

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