Royal jelly prevents the progression of sarcopenia in aged mice in vivo and in vitro
J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci, 2013 Dec;68(12):1482-92
Sarcopenia is characterized by the age-related loss of muscle mass and strength. One of the mechanisms of sarcopenia is the loss in the function and number of muscle satellite cells. Royal jelly (RJ) is a health food used worldwide. To obtain better digestion and absorption than RJ, protease-treated RJ (pRJ) has been developed. RJ and pRJ have been suggested to have potential pharmacological benefits such as prolonging the life span and reducing fatigue. Because these effects may improve sarcopenia and the functions of satellite cells, we examined the effects of RJ or pRJ treatment on the skeletal muscles in an animal model using aged mice. In vivo, RJ/pRJ treatment attenuated the decrease in the muscle weight and grip strength and increased the regenerating capacity of injured muscles and the serum insulin-like growth factor-1 levels compared with controls. In vitro, using isolated satellite cells from aged mice, pRJ treatment increased the cell proliferation rate, promoted cell differentiation, and activated Akt intracellular signaling pathway compared with controls. These findings suggest that RJ/pRJ treatment had a beneficial effect on age-related sarcopenia.