Loquat leaf extract enhances myogenic differentiation, improves muscle function and attenuates muscle loss in aged rats.
Int J Mol Med. 2015 Sep ;36(3):792-800. Epub 2015 Jul 15. PMID: 26178971
A main characteristic of aging is the debilitating, progressive and generalized impairment of biological functions, resulting in an increased vulnerability to disease and death. Skeletal muscle comprises approximately 40% of the human body; thus, it is the most abundant tissue. At the age of 30 onwards, 0.5‑1% of human muscle mass is lost each year, with a marked acceleration in the rate of decline after the age of 65. Thus, novel strategies that effectively attenuate skeletal muscle loss and enhance muscle function are required to improve the quality of life of older subjects. The aim of the present study was to determine whether loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) leaf extract (LE) can prevent the loss of skeletal muscle function in aged rats. Young (5-month-old) and aged (18‑19-month-old) rats were fed LE (50 mg/kg/day) for 35 days and the changes in muscle mass and strength were evaluated. Theage‑associated loss of grip strength was attenuated, and muscle mass and muscle creatine kinase (CK) activity were enhanced following the administration of LE. Histochemical analysis also revealed that LE abrogated the age‑associated decrease in cross‑sectional area (CSA) and decreased the amount of connective tissue in the muscle of aged rats. To investigate the mode of action of LE, C2C12 murine myoblasts were used to evaluate the myogenic potential of LE. The expression levels of myogenic proteins (MyoD and myogenin) and functional myosin heavy chain (MyHC) were measured by western blot analysis. LE enhanced MyoD, myogenin and MyHC expression. The changes in the expression of myogenic genes corresponded with an increase in the activity of CK, a myogenic differentiation marker. Finally, LE activated the Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway, which is involvedin muscle protein synthesis during myogenesis. These findings suggest that LE attenuates sarcopenia by promoting myogenic differentiation and subsequently promoting muscle protein synthesis.