Breaking News
May 3, 2019 - Vaping and Smoking May Signal Greater Motivation to Quit
May 3, 2019 - Dementia looks different in brains of Hispanics
May 3, 2019 - Short-Staffed Nursing Homes See Drop In Medicare Ratings
May 3, 2019 - Study of teens with eating disorders explores how substance users differ from non-substance users
May 3, 2019 - Scientists develop new video game that may help in the study of Alzheimer’s
May 3, 2019 - Arc Bio introduces Galileo Pathogen Solution product line at ASM Clinical Virology Symposium
May 3, 2019 - Cornell University study uncovers relationship between starch digestion gene and gut bacteria
May 3, 2019 - How to Safely Use Glucose Meters and Test Strips for Diabetes
May 3, 2019 - Anti-inflammatory drugs ineffective for prevention of Alzheimer’s disease
May 3, 2019 - Study tracks Pennsylvania’s oil and gas waste-disposal practices
May 3, 2019 - Creating a better radiation diagnostic test for astronauts
May 3, 2019 - Vegans are often deficient in these four nutrients
May 3, 2019 - PPDC announces seed grants to develop medical devices for children
May 3, 2019 - Study maps out the frequency and impact of water polo head injuries
May 3, 2019 - Research on Reddit identifies risks associated with unproven treatments for opioid addiction
May 3, 2019 - Good smells may help ease tobacco cravings
May 3, 2019 - Medical financial hardship found to be very common among people in the United States
May 3, 2019 - Researchers develop multimodal system for personalized post-stroke rehabilitation
May 3, 2019 - Study shows significant mortality benefit with CABG over percutaneous coronary intervention
May 3, 2019 - Will gene-editing of human embryos ever be justifiable?
May 3, 2019 - FDA Approves Dengvaxia (dengue vaccine) for the Prevention of Dengue Disease in Endemic Regions
May 3, 2019 - Why Tonsillitis Keeps Coming Back
May 3, 2019 - Fighting the opioid epidemic with data
May 3, 2019 - Maggot sausages may soon be a reality
May 3, 2019 - Deletion of ATDC gene prevents development of pancreatic cancer in mice
May 2, 2019 - Targeted Therapy Promising for Rare Hematologic Cancer
May 2, 2019 - Alzheimer’s disease is a ‘double-prion disorder,’ study shows
May 2, 2019 - Reservoir bugs: How one bacterial menace makes its home in the human stomach
May 2, 2019 - Clinical, Admin Staff From Cardiology Get Sneak Peek at Epic
May 2, 2019 - Depression increases hospital use and mortality in children
May 2, 2019 - Vicon and NOC support CURE International to create first gait lab in Ethiopia
May 2, 2019 - Researchers use 3D printer to make paper organs
May 2, 2019 - Viral infection in utero associated with behavioral abnormalities in offspring
May 2, 2019 - U.S. Teen Opioid Deaths Soaring
May 2, 2019 - Opioid distribution data should be public
May 2, 2019 - In the Spotlight: “I’m learning every single day”
May 2, 2019 - 2019 Schaefer Scholars Announced
May 2, 2019 - Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ Bye-Bye, ACA, And Hello ‘Medicare-For-All’?
May 2, 2019 - Study describes new viral molecular evasion mechanism used by cytomegalovirus
May 2, 2019 - SLU study suggests a more equitable way for Medicare reimbursement
May 2, 2019 - Scientists discover first gene involved in lower urinary tract obstruction
May 2, 2019 - Researchers identify 34 genes associated with increased risk of ovarian cancer
May 2, 2019 - Many low-income infants receive formula in the first few days of life, finds study
May 2, 2019 - Global study finds high success rate for hip and knee replacements
May 2, 2019 - Taking depression seriously: What is it?
May 2, 2019 - With Head Injuries Mounting, Will Cities Put Their Feet Down On E-Scooters?
May 2, 2019 - Scientists develop small fluorophores for tracking metabolites in living cells
May 2, 2019 - Study casts new light into how mothers’ and babies’ genes influence birth weight
May 2, 2019 - Researchers uncover new brain mechanisms regulating body weight
May 2, 2019 - Organ-on-chip systems offered to Asia-Pacific regions by Sydney’s AXT
May 2, 2019 - Adoption of new rules drops readmission penalties against safety net hospitals
May 2, 2019 - Kids and teens who consume zero-calorie sweetened beverages do not save calories
May 2, 2019 - Improved procedure for cancer-related erectile dysfunction
May 2, 2019 - Hormone may improve social behavior in autism
May 2, 2019 - Alzheimer’s disease may be caused by infectious proteins called prions
May 2, 2019 - Even Doctors Can’t Navigate Our ‘Broken Health Care System’
May 2, 2019 - Study looks at the impact on criminal persistence of head injuries
May 2, 2019 - Honey ‘as high in sugars as table sugar’
May 2, 2019 - Innovations to U.S. food system could help consumers in choosing healthy foods
May 2, 2019 - FDA Approves Mavyret (glecaprevir and pibrentasvir) as First Treatment for All Genotypes of Hepatitis C in Pediatric Patients
May 2, 2019 - Women underreport prevalence and intensity of their own snoring
May 2, 2019 - Concussion summit focuses on science behind brain injury
May 2, 2019 - Booker’s Argument For Environmental Justice Stays Within The Lines
May 2, 2019 - Cornell research explains increased metastatic cancer risk in diabetics
May 2, 2019 - Mount Sinai study provides fresh insights into cellular pathways that cause cancer
May 2, 2019 - Researchers to study link between prenatal pesticide exposures and childhood ADHD
May 2, 2019 - CoGEN Congress 2019: Speakers’ overviews
May 2, 2019 - A new strategy for managing diabetic macular edema in people with good vision
May 2, 2019 - Sagent Pharmaceuticals Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Ketorolac Tromethamine Injection, USP, 60mg/2mL (30mg per mL) Due to Lack of Sterility Assurance
May 2, 2019 - Screen time associated with behavioral problems in preschoolers
May 2, 2019 - Hormone reduces social impairment in kids with autism | News Center
May 2, 2019 - Researchers synthesize peroxidase-mimicking nanozyme with low cost and superior catalytic activity
May 2, 2019 - Study results of a potential drug to treat Type 2 diabetes in children announced
May 2, 2019 - Multigene test helps doctors to make effective treatment decisions for breast cancer patients
May 2, 2019 - UNC School of Medicine initiative providing unique care to dementia patients
May 2, 2019 - Nestlé Health Science and VHP join forces to launch innovative COPES program for cancer patients
May 2, 2019 - Study examines how our brain generates consciousness and loses it during anesthesia
May 2, 2019 - Transition Support Program May Aid Young Adults With Type 1 Diabetes
May 2, 2019 - Study shows how neutrophils exacerbate atherosclerosis by inducing smooth muscle-cell death
May 2, 2019 - Research reveals complexity of how we make decisions
“Mitotic catastrophe” describes how aged muscle stem cells die, and provides clues to keeping them healthy

“Mitotic catastrophe” describes how aged muscle stem cells die, and provides clues to keeping them healthy

As a parent, I chuckled a bit when I first heard the term ‘mitotic catastrophe.’ The phrase describes a situation in which cells attempting to divide bungle the complicated maneuver and die an ignominious death. Even cells, it seems, sometimes find that the attempt to create happy, functional offspring is fraught with peril.

But, joking aside, the death of dividing cells — aka mitotic catastrophe — can have serious consequences, particularly when those cells, namely stem cells, are responsible for regenerating new muscle in response to injury or aging.

Now neurologist Thomas Rando, MD, PhD, together with senior research scientist Ling Liu, PhD, and pathologist Gregory Charville, MD, PhD, have pinpointed mitotic catastrophe as a cause of death of old muscle stem cells. These cells are less able than their younger counterparts to repair muscle damage. They’ve also shown that this “death by dividing” is the result of a malfunction of the cross-talk that occurs between the stem cells, nestled along the lengths of muscle fibers, and their neighboring cellular support team known as the stem cell niche.

They recently published their work in Cell Stem Cell.

As Rando explained in an email to me:

Mitotic catastrophe has primarily been described in the scientific literature as a way that cancer cells die, especially after treatment with chemotherapeutic agents. So it was a surprise to us to see the old muscle stem cells dying in this way. In fact, prior to this research, I had not even heard the term mitotic catastrophe.

In contrast, younger muscle stem cells usually divide without issue when called upon to do so, the researchers found.

Further investigation revealed that the catastrophic death of the aged muscle stem cells is related to a reduction in the amount of a protein called p53 in the cells. p53 is a well-known tumor suppressor that normally works to pause the division of cells with DNA damage to allow them the necessary repair time. When p53 is mutated, damaged cells continue dividing and sometimes become cancerous.

The researchers went on to discover that the decline in p53 is due to a reduction in the activity of a biochemical signaling cascade called the Notch pathway, which is activated in the stem cells by signals produced by neighboring cells. This close relationship between the stem cells and their niche has been shown by Rando and others to be vital in maintaining the function of stem cells.

As Rando explained:

Increasing evidence points to the cross-talk between stem cells and their niches as being essential to maintain normal tissue homeostasis and repair. If one disrupts the stem cells or the niche cells, these processes are impaired.

Some stem cells persist in a quiescent state for years or even decades, and normal structure and function of the stem cell-niche unit appears to be essential for such long-term cell, tissue, and even organismal survival.

Because DNA damage accumulates with age, Liu, Charville and Rando wondered whether it was possible to avert mitotic catastrophe in the aged stem cells by treating them with a drug that increases p53 expression — perhaps by giving them breathing room to repair the damage before dividing. Indeed, they found that boosting p53 expression in the stem cells allowed them to divide more successfully improved their ability to repair muscle damage.

Rando and his colleagues are now keen to learn whether intervening in this natural aging process of the stem cells and their niche can lead to therapies that can help old muscles, and potentially other tissues and organs, heal more quickly and efficiently.

As Rando said:

We want to know why Notch signaling declines in the muscle stem cell compartment with age. This could suggest another potential therapeutic approach to preventing mitotic catastrophe in aged muscle injury. And we would like to know whether these findings represent a general phenomenon in aged stem cell populations.

Photo by ChangGp

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles