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Aim is first to identify the relative importance of muscle weakness in the European population in order to propose standards to define healthy ageing in order to identify age-related muscle weakness; secondly to identify molecular mechanisms and pathways which are responsible for this weakness and which may be targeted to combat age related muscle weakness, and thirdly to identify therapeutic strategies to prevent muscle loss and weakness, increase health span and enhance recovery following injury or immobilization.

This is a joint research project involving 19 European partners and funded by EU (FP7). MYOAGE is divided into 11 work packages (WP) from which WP9: Hormones and muscle weakness is leaded by Gerontology Research Center, University of Jyväskylä. Objectives of the WP9 is to investigate the role of sex hormones, estrogens and testosterone, in causing the aging related loss of muscle mass and function, to assess the effects of hormonal supplementation on restoring muscle mass and function in older men and women, to assess the effects of hormone replacement therapy on myosin synthesis, expression and function in postmenopausal women and to investigate the mechanism of hormone action on muscle IGF-1 signaling pathways. In addition to WP9, Gerontology Research Center is involved in the WP2: Physiological and functional evaluation, WP5: Inflammation and oxidative stress and WP8: Exercise and diet.

European Union (FP7)

Research group
Principal investigator
Professor Sarianna Sipilä,, Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä

Senior researchers
Vuokko Kovanen, Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä
Taija Juutinen, Department of Exercise Biology, University of Jyväskylä
Urho Kujala, Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä

Postdoctoral researchers
Eija Pöllänen
Elina Sillanpää

Doctoral thesis

Selected publications
Ahtiainen M, Pöllänen E, Ronkainen PH, Alen M, Puolakka J, Kaprio J, Sipilä S, Kovanen V. Age and estrogen-based hormone therapy affect systemic and local IL-6 and IGF-1 pathways in women. Age (Dordr). 2011 Aug 16. [Epub ahead of print]

Finni T, Noorkoiv M, Pöllänen E, Ronkainen PH, Alén M, Kaprio J, Kovanen V, Sipilä S. Muscle function in monozygotic female twin pairs discordant for hormone replacement therapy. Muscle Nerve, 2011 Nov;44(5):769-75.

Ronkainen PH, Pöllänen E, Alén M, Pitkänen R, Puolakka J, Kujala UM, Kaprio J, Sipilä S, Kovanen V. Global gene expression profiles in skeletal muscle of monozygotic female twins discordant for hormone replacement therapy. Aging Cell. 2010 Dec;9(6):1098-110.

MyoAge consortium

INSERM, FR (Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Gillian Butler-Browne), Manchester Metropolitan University, UK (Marco Narici), Institute of Sports Medicine, DK (Michael Kjaer), Uppsala University, SE (Lars Larsson), Bologna University, IT (Claudio Franceschi)

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