This is a typical muscle dysfunction condition that affects the elderly or individuals suffering from sciatic nerve injury, something usually verified in bedridden patients or workers who spend long hours sitting.
From tests with rats with induced sciatic nerve injury -- which, therefore, stopped receiving stimuli -- researchers found that this buildup was caused by the impairment of autophagy, the cellular machinery responsible for identifying and removing damaged proteins and toxins. The analysis of a group of rats subjected to a regime of aerobic exercise training previous to the injury allowed the scientists to demonstrate that physical exercise can keep the autophagic system primed and facilitate its activity when necessary, as in the case of muscle dysfunction due to the lack of stimulus.
Exercise - Autophagic - System - Elimination - Proteins
"Daily exercise sensitizes the autophagic system, facilitating the elimination of proteins and organelles that aren't functional in the muscles. Removal of these dysfunctional components is very important; when they accumulate, they become toxic and contribute to muscle cell impairment and death," said Julio Cesar Batista Ferreira, a professor in the university's Biomedical Science Institute (ICB-USP) and principal investigator for the study.
Ferreira offered an analogy to help explain muscle cell autophagy. "Imagine the muscles working in a similar manner to a refrigerator, which needs electricity to run. If this signal ceases because you pull the plug on the fridge or block the neurons that innervate the muscles, before long, you find that the food in the fridge and the proteins in the muscles will start to spoil at different speeds according to their composition," told the researcher, who was supported by the São Paulo Research Foundation -- FAPESP.
Point - Warning - Mechanism - Cells - Fridges
"At this point, an early warning mechanism, present in cells but not yet in fridges, activates the autophagic system, which identifies, isolates and 'incinerates' the defective material, preventing propagation of the damage. However,...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily