Murine models of atrophy, cachexia, and sarcopenia in skeletal muscle

Mark Romanick, LaDora V. Thompson, Holly M. Brown-Borg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


With the extension of life span over the past several decades, the age-related loss of muscle mass and strength that characterizes sarcopenia is becoming more evident and thus, has a more significant impact on society. To determine ways to intervene and delay, or even arrest the physical frailty and dependence that accompany sarcopenia, it is necessary to identify those biochemical pathways that define this process. Animal models that mimic one or more of the physiological pathways involved with this phenomenon are very beneficial in providing an understanding of the cellular processes at work in sarcopenia. The ability to influence pathways through genetic manipulation gives insight into cellular responses and their impact on the physical expression of sarcopenia. This review evaluates several murine models that have the potential to elucidate biochemical processes integral to sarcopenia. Identifying animal models that reflect sarcopenia or its component pathways will enable researchers to better understand those pathways that contribute to age-related skeletal muscle mass loss, and in turn, develop interventions that will prevent, retard, arrest, or reverse this phenomenon. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Animal Models of Disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1410-1420
Number of pages11
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge the support provided by NIH RO1 AG034206 (HMBB), NIH 5KO2 AG038509 (HMBB), Ellison Medical Foundation AG-SS-2376-09 (HMBB) and the Departments of Pharmacology, Physiology and Therapeutics and Physical Therapy at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences .


  • Frailty
  • Mouse
  • Muscle loss
  • Sarcopenia
  • Signaling


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