‘Trust hormone’ oxytocin helps old muscle work like new, study finds

Lyra Nara Blog

'Trust hormone' oxytocin helps old muscle work like new, study finds

On the left is healthy muscle tissue from a young mouse. The ability of muscle to repair itself decreases with age, as evidenced by the middle image of old muscle tissue, which shows a lower density of muscle fibers, increased scar tissue and inflammation. The addition of oxytocin to the blood of old mice rapidly rejuvenates the old muscle, as shown in the image on the right. Credit: Wendy Cousin and Christian Elabd, UC Berkeley.

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have discovered that oxytocin—a hormone associated with maternal nurturing, social attachments, childbirth and sex—is indispensable for healthy muscle maintenance and repair, and that in mice, it declines with age.

The new study, to be published Tuesday, June 10, in the journal Nature Communications, presents oxytocin as the latest treatment target for age-relatedmuscle wasting, or sarcopenia.

A few other biochemical factors in blood have been connected to…

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