May 28, 2013
Researchers at the University of Virginia have had a breakthrough that shows dying cells in the body play a big role in creating muscle.
The finding could lead to new ways to help fight muscular dystrophy and other muscle disorders.
Dying cells were once thought to be debris in the body that caused tissue inflammation. The new UVa. research shows a small number of those cells must die in order to create new muscle.
Now, researchers want to find out the ways cells communicate.
"What we have actually identified is that the dying cells have a certain way of communicating with the living ones that in turn provide new muscle building properties to the healthy guys, so that's really what we're after," said Kodi S. Ravichandran, professor and chair of the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology.
Researchers say the next step of the process is to find out how they can tap into this new development to improve muscle therapies.