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Greater loss of mitochondrial function with ageing is associated with earlier onset of sarcopenia in C. elegans

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2018
Issue number11
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)3382—3396
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date19/11/18
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Sarcopenia, the age-related decline of muscle, is a significant and growing public health burden. C. elegans, a model organism for investigating the mechanisms of ageing, also displays sarcopenia, but the underlying mechanism(s) remain elusive. Here, we use C. elegans natural scaling of lifespan in response to temperature to examine the relationship between mitochondrial content, mitochondrial function, and sarcopenia. Mitochondrial content and maximal mitochondrial ATP production rates (MAPR) display an inverse relationship to lifespan, while onset of MAPR decline displays a direct relationship. Muscle mitochondrial structure, sarcomere structure, and movement decline also display a direct relationship with longevity. Notably, the decline in mitochondrial network structure occurs earlier than sarcomere decline, and correlates more strongly with loss of movement, and scales with lifespan. These results suggest that mitochondrial function is critical in the ageing process and more robustly explains the onset and progression of sarcopenia than loss of sarcomere structure.