As we get older, recovering from an injury can seem a lot less like the “bouncing back” we did in our youth. Now, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh have isolated a protein that may explain why.
It’s called α-Klotho (‘alpha’-Klotho) and has been linked to anti-aging and longevity.
However, as shown in a recent study, aging muscles lose the ability to turn on production of this protein. The researchers also found α-Klotho is important for maintaining healthy muscle cells — and repairing damaged ones after an injury.
To wit, whereas α-Klotho levels were seen to remain static in older mice, in younger mice production of the protein was boosted following an injury.
So the team looked at increasing α-Klotho production in older mice on the mend and, sure enough, muscle repair improved.