Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Front Aging Neurosci. 2014 Aug 11;6:208. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2014.00208. eCollection 2014.

The Neuromuscular Junction: Aging at the Crossroad between Nerves and Muscle.

Author information

1
Translational Gerontology Branch, National Institute on Aging, Intramural Research Program, National Institutes of Health , Baltimore, MD , USA ; Longitudinal Studies Section, Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health , Baltimore, MD , USA.
2
Translational Gerontology Branch, National Institute on Aging, Intramural Research Program, National Institutes of Health , Baltimore, MD , USA.

Abstract

Aging is associated with a progressive loss of muscle mass and strength and a decline in neurophysiological functions. Age-related neuromuscular junction (NMJ) plays a key role in musculoskeletal impairment that occurs with aging. However, whether changes in the NMJ precede or follow the decline of muscle mass and strength remains unresolved. Many factors such as mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, inflammation, changes in the innervation of muscle fibers, and mechanical properties of the motor units probably perform an important role in NMJ degeneration and muscle mass and strength decline in late life. This review addresses the primary events that might lead to NMJ dysfunction with aging, including studies on biomarkers, signaling pathways, and animal models. Interventions such as caloric restriction and exercise may positively affect the NMJ through this mechanism and attenuate the age-related progressive impairment in motor function.

KEYWORDS:

aging; denervation; motor unit; neuromuscular junction; sarcopenia

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Frontiers Media SA Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center