Low sugar levels may favor skeletal muscle satellite cells, cells important for muscle repair, according to a study by researchers from the Tokyo Metropolitan University. What the researchers found, in fact, is that these cells proliferate more efficiently in environments with lower amounts of glucose.
The skeletal muscle satellite cells, as reported in the press release issued by the Japanese university itself, they are very important because these special stem cells, which are connected between two layers of sheath called sarcolemma and basal lamina, envelop the myofiber cells in the single fibers of the muscle. The satellite cells come into action when the myofibers are damaged: at that moment the satellite cells begin to multiply and this helps in the repair of muscle damage and in the maintenance of the same muscle mass.
The researchers studied these cells in the lab, in petri dishes, and found that the higher glucose levels did not have a positive effect on the consistency and speed at which they grew. This is information that, in some ways, is counterintuitive: glucose has always been considered to be important for cellular activities. The same glucose, in fact, is transformed into ATP, a substance that can be considered as the «fuel» for almost all the activities of the cells. In this case, however, the researchers found that a lower amount of glucose, obtained by adding glucose oxidase, an enzyme that digests the same glucose, led to a greater amount of cell production with all the positive aspects to follow. .
It is evident that these cells procure the energy to function to multiply from some other source and the researchers now want to understand what it is, a further discovery that could prove very useful for those patients suffering from muscle loss, a condition that for example can be observed in diabetics.