Blau Lab Awarded an Inaugural Milky Way Research Foundation Grant

There are currently no treatments for sarcopenia, a debilitating aging-associated loss of muscle function. The Blau lab recently published in Science that decreasing the abundance of Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) triggers premature muscle aging in young mice, and increasing its levels rejuvenates muscles of aged mice. This physiologic shift in PGE2 concentration is mediated by 15-PGDH, the enzyme that degrades PGE2, which appears to be a pivotal molecular determinant of muscle aging. In mice and humans, 15-PGDH expression increases with age. Even brief systemic 15-PGDH inhibition not only augments muscle mass and strength, but also increases time to exhaustion on a treadmill, suggests a more general amelioration of aged tissue function. The proposed project explores the hypothesis that 15-PGDH is a “master regulator of aging” and its inhibition restores PGE2 homeostasis and leads to organismal rejuvenation, augmenting healthspan and lifespan.