Tweaking energy consumption to combat muscle wasting and obesity
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
By evaluating working muscles in mice, University of Iowa researchers have uncovered physiological mechanisms that could lead to new strategies for combating metabolism-related disorders like muscle wasting and obesity. The study appears in The Journal of General Physiology.
The research team led by Dr. Leonid Zingman, UI assistant professor of internal medicine, investigated the function of tiny openings, or channels, in muscle cell membranes that play an important role in regulating muscle function and energy consumption. These so-called ATP-sensitive potassium channels are abundant in skeletal muscle and link cell membrane excitability to cell metabolism. However, it is not clear how channel activation affects muscles under physiological conditions and how this translates to energy use.
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