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Exp Gerontol. 2005 Jul;40(7):562-72.

Soleus muscles of SAMP8 mice provide an accelerated model of skeletal muscle senescence.

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Research Center for Excercise Health, Faculty of Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Sciences, Leuven, Belgium.


Animal models are valuable research tools towards effective prevention of sarcopenia and towards a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying skeletal muscle aging. We investigated whether senescence-accelerated mouse (SAM) strains provide valid models for skeletal muscle aging studies. Male senescence-prone mice SAMP6 and SAMP8 were studied at age 10, 25 and 60 weeks and compared with senescence-resistant strain, SAMR1. Soleus and EDL muscles were tested for in vitro contractile properties, phosphocreatine content, muscle mass and fiber-type distribution. Declined muscle mass and contractility were observed at 60 weeks, the differences being more pronounced in SAMP8 than SAMP6 and more pronounced in soleus than EDL. Likewise, age-related decreases in muscle phosphocreatine content and type-II fiber size were most pronounced in SAMP8 soleus. In conclusion, typical features of muscular senescence occur at relatively young age in SAMP8 and nearly twice as fast as compared with other models. We suggest that soleus muscles of SAMP8 mice provide a cost-effective model for muscular aging studies.

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