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Musculoskeletal

Muscles Remember At DNA Level

3 months, 1 week ago

848  0
Posted on Feb 09, 2018, 11 a.m.

 

Keele University researchers suggest that human muscles possess a memory of earlier growth at the DNA level. Periods of skeletal growth are remembered by the genes in the muscle, helping them to grow larger later on in life, as published in Scientific Reports.

 

Keele University researchers suggest that human muscles possess a memory of earlier growth at the DNA level. Periods of skeletal growth are remembered by the genes in the muscle, helping them to grow larger later on in life, as published in Scientific Reports.

 

The study has far reaching implications for athletes caught using performance enhancing muscle building drugs as the drugs could create long lasting changes making the short term bans inadequate. This research has important implications in how athletes train, recover from injury, and consequences for those caught cheating.

 

Over 850,000 sites on human DNA were investigated by researchers and discovered the genes marked or unmarked with special chemical tags when muscles grow following exercise, which then return back to normal and then grows again following exercise later in life. Known as epigenetic modifications these markers tell genes whether they should be active or not providing the instructions to the gene whether to turn on or off without changing the DNA itself.

 

It was demonstrated that genes in muscles become more untagged with this epigenetic information as it grows after exercise in early life, they remain untagged after muscle loss, the untagging helps to switch the gene on with greater muscle growth in response to exercise later in life, demonstrating epigenetic memory of muscle growth earlier in life.

 

If an athlete grows muscle then gets injured and as a result loses some muscle, this may help later recovery if it is known the genes that are responsible for the muscle memory to create an exercise program to help activate them. If an athlete takes performance enhancing drugs to bulk up, their muscles may retain a memory of it prior to growth, it may be the case that short bans are not adequate as they may continue to be at an advantage of drugs taken earlier despite no longer taking them. More research is needed on using drugs to build muscle rather than exercise to confirm this.

 

 

 

Materials provided by Keele University.

Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

Robert A. Seaborne, Juliette Strauss, Matthew Cocks, Sam Shepherd, Thomas D. O’Brien, Ken A. van Someren, Phillip G. Bell, Christopher Murgatroyd, James P. Morton, Claire E. Stewart, Adam P. Sharples. Human Skeletal Muscle Possesses an Epigenetic Memory of Hypertrophy. Scientific Reports, 2018; 8 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-20287-3

 

 

 

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