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Division Announcements

Myosteatosis in the context of skeletal muscle function deficit workshop report

On September 14, 2018, the NIA Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology conducted a workshop organized by Rosaly Correa-de-Araujo, MD, MSc, Ph.D., entitled "Myosteatosis in the Context of Skeletal Muscle Function Deficit," (see the agenda here), which brought together experts from around the country to discuss the status of myosteatosis research, potential clinical applications, and the need for further studies in multiple aspects of the development of myosteatosis as relates to aging.

Some of key conclusions from discussion held by the expert panel included that the field of myosteatosis is still considered to be in its early phase and needs to be expanded. Various studies to quantify myosteatosis and aging and physical function and even some effects of potential interventions have shown interesting results, but further investigation is needed. In particular, assessing the quality of the characteristics of the intermuscular adipose tissue is critical to identify and confirm how it differs from other adipose depots, whether it is metabolically active or releases more cytokines to the adjacent muscle. To the extent further studies can access human adipose tissue is necessary to answer such questions. Animal models are really limited in this area but studying pigs or cows should be considered to facilitate acquiring some more mechanistic data in those animal models that would potentially translate to humans. How muscle fat accumulates whether outside the cell or inside the cell remains a burning question. Whether it is due to mitochondrial dysfunction and/or other metabolic factors, trans-differentiation of pre stem cells going into either fat or muscle or bone in the case of bone marrow needs further clarification. Attention also should be given to anti myostatin antibody trials and incorporation of measures of myosteatosis in such studies.