Myofiber Type Specificity of Sarcopenia- Introduction

Hello! I am a rising senior here at William and Mary, and I will be working in Professor Deschenes’ Cellular and Biochemistry lab this summer. I will be investigating sarcopenia, or the loss of muscle mass due to aging, in rat muscles. I will be looking at whether certain muscles are more prone to sarcopenia than others, by seeing if a loss in muscle mass is global in nature, or if specific muscles are more┬ásusceptible┬áto atrophy than others. Myofiber type compositions will be compared between the slow twitch heavily recruited Soleus muscle versus the fast twitch, less active Extensor Digitorum Longus muscle. This will let us examine whether different fiber type compositions affect the rate of sarcopenia, as well as whether muscles with different recruitment patterns will display a different level of protection from a loss in muscle mass. Sarcopenia causes numerous healthcare issues among the elderly, so further examination of loss of muscle could potentially help decrease these complications and diseases linked to sarcopenia among the elderly. I look forward to sharing my experiences doing this research with you all over the summer!