News / Health

New Compound Increases Muscle Endurance in Mice

Jessica Berman
A new, experimental drug significantly improves muscle endurance in mice.  It is a finding that an international team of researchers hopes may some day benefit patients with conditions that limit exercise tolerance, including type 2 diabetes, which has become a global epidemic.

Although exercise could improve some chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, obesity and congestive heart failure, those patients often lack the stamina to work out.

Now, researchers at the Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Florida and Institut Pasteur de Lille in France have developed a promising experimental drug that dramatically increases the efficiency of muscles most responsible for endurance.

Thomas Burris, an expert in physiology and metabolism, helped developed the candidate drug, called SR9009, that was tested in mice. “Just treating them with the drug increases their ability to run for longer durations and longer times, in fact around 50 to 60 percent longer duration and distance,” he said.

In rodents lacking a molecule called Rev-erba, researchers saw an increase in fat storing cells and a decrease in metabolic activity in muscles responsible for burning fat.  

But that changed when Rev-erba was switched on by SR9009.

In addition, Burris said, the drug decreased fat deposits in the blood and reduced cholesterol levels in the animals.  

The compound also improved the absorption of glucose - sugar the body uses for fuel - by stimulating mitochondria, tiny structures inside cells sometimes called the body's power plants.

Burris said there is no guarantee the benefits of SR9009 seen in mice would occur in humans with metabolic syndrome, a precursor to type 2 diabetes marked by elevated levels of glucose, as well as cholesterol and blood fats known as triglycerides.

"But we do have indications that the effects of the drug are very similar to what you see with someone who has metabolic disorder who starts exercising," Burris stated. "They see a decrease in cholesterol, a decrease in triglycerides, an improvement in glucose metabolism.  And a lot of this is due to transforming the muscle into a more metabolically active muscle."

An article describing improvements in muscle endurance in mice treated with the compound SR9009 is published in the journal Nature.

You May Like

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid