Causes and consequences of age-related changes at the neuromuscular junction

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Abstract

Sarcopenia is the age-related loss of muscle mass and function and has a major impact on quality of life. The neuromuscular junction (NMJ) appears to be a major focal point of age-related perturbations. Many morphological and electrophysiological alterations occur at the NMJ with age, but whether these changes are benign, malignant or compensatory is, in many cases, unclear. Here we discuss recent findings that have helped to define the role of the NMJ in sarcopenia. We will discuss the influence of motor neuron and satellite cell dysfunction, the effects of imbalanced cholinergic signalling and the reduced production of NMJ-stabilising proteins by the myofibre and how these may contribute to sarcopenia.

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Ham, D. J., & Rüegg, M. A. (2018, August 1). Causes and consequences of age-related changes at the neuromuscular junction. Current Opinion in Physiology. Elsevier Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cophys.2018.04.007

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