Update on mitochondria and muscle aging: All wrong roads lead to sarcopenia

Anna Picca, Riccardo Calvani, Maurizio Bossola, Elena Allocca, Amerigo Menghi, Vito Pesce, Angela Maria Serena Lezza, Roberto Bernabei, Francesco Landi, Emanuele Marzetti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Sarcopenia is a well-known geriatric syndrome that has been endorsed over the years as a biomarker allowing for the discrimination, at a clinical level, of biological from chronological age. Multiple candidate mechanisms have been linked to muscle degeneration during sarcopenia. Among them, there is wide consensus on the central role played by the loss of mitochondrial integrity in myocytes, secondary to dysfunctional quality control mechanisms. Indeed, mitochondria establish direct or indirect contacts with other cellular components (e.g. endoplasmic reticulum, peroxisomes, lysosomes/vacuoles) as well as the extracellular environment through the release of several biomolecules. The functional implications of these interactions in the context of muscle physiology and sarcopenia are not yet fully appreciated and represent a promising area of investigation. Here, we present an overview of recent findings concerning the interrelation between mitochondrial quality control processes, inflammation and the metabolic regulation of muscle mass in the pathogenesis of sarcopenia highlighting those pathways that may be exploited for developing preventive and therapeutic interventions against muscle aging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-436
Number of pages16
JournalBiological Chemistry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Apr 25 2018


  • Inflammation
  • Mitochondrial biogenesis
  • Mitochondrial proteostasis
  • Mitochondrial quality control
  • Mitophagy
  • Muscle wasting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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