Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Response of satellite cells to exercise, doping and inactivity

To understand the role of satellite cells and myonuclei in adaptation of muscle fibre size, analyses have been performed using muscle biopsies from elite strength trained athletes, some of which had also used anabolic steroids as supplement to the training. An important implication of that study is that satellite cells are incorporated in pre-existing muscle fibres to match the increase in muscle fibre area allowing a permissible nuclear domain size.

Satellite cells were also found to be the basis for new fibres suggesting that, if the number of new fibres made is in excess over those destroyed, hyperplasia can occur. Muscle biopsies have also been obtained from persons, before and after they have been in bed rest for 10 weeks. These biopsies allow us to estimate which processes are related to inactivity of the muscles.

A significant decrease in mean area was observed without committing decrease in myonuclear number or satellite cells. This suggests that the capacity to recover after a relative long period of inactivity is still possible. This finding has also an impact on elderly people indicating that activity is of great value keeping the muscle fit during ageing.

Reported by

Department of Integrative Medical Biology; section of Anatomy
Petrus Laestadius väg
90187 Umea
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