Research Article

Inhibition of prostaglandin-degrading enzyme 15-PGDH rejuvenates aged muscle mass and strength

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Science  10 Dec 2020:
eabc8059
DOI: 10.1126/science.abc8059

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Abstract

Treatments are lacking for sarcopenia, a debilitating age-related skeletal muscle wasting syndrome. Here we identify elevated 15-PGDH, the Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2)–degrading enzyme, as a hallmark of aged tissues, including skeletal muscle. The resulting reduction in PGE2 signaling is a major contributor to muscle atrophy in aged mice and results from 15-PGDH-expressing myofibers and interstitial cells within muscle. Inhibition of 15-PGDH, by targeted genetic knockdown or a small molecule inhibitor, increases aged muscle mass, strength, and exercise performance. These physiological benefits arise from rejuvenated PGE2 levels which augment mitochondrial function and autophagy and decrease TGF-beta and ubiquitin-proteasome pathways. Our studies demonstrate a previously unrecognized role for PGE2 signaling in countering muscle atrophy and identify 15-PGDH as a promising therapeutic target to counter sarcopenia.

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