Sarcopenia that occurs with advancing age is characterized by a gradual loss of muscle protein component due to the activation of catabolic pathways, increased level of inflammation, and mitochondrial dysfunction. Experimental evidence demonstrates that several physio-pathological processes involved in the onset of sarcopenia may be counteracted by the intake of specific amino acids or antioxidant molecules, suggesting that diet may represent an effective strategy for improving the anabolic response of muscle during aging. The non-essential amino acid taurine is highly expressed in several mammalian tissues, including skeletal muscle where it is involved in the ion channel regulation, in the modulation of intracellular calcium concentration, and where it plays an important role as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory factor. Here, with the purpose to reproduce the chronic low-grade inflammation characteristics of senescent muscle in an in vitro system, we exploited the role of Tumor Necrosis Factor α (TNF) and we analyzed the effect of taurine in the modulation of different signaling pathways known to be dysregulated in sarcopenia. We demonstrated that the administration of high levels of taurine in myogenic L6 cells stimulates the differentiation process by downregulating the expression of molecules involved in inflammatory pathways and modulating processes such as autophagy and apoptosis. Although further studies are currently ongoing in our laboratory to better elucidate the molecular mechanisms responsible for the positive effect of taurine on myogenic differentiation, this study suggests that taurine supplementation may represent a strategy to delay the loss of mass and functionality characteristic of senescent muscles.
- Skeletal muscle