Squeaky Gains

Big mouse chewing on something.

Trying to get healthy? So are mice!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Turns out, our furry friends share our aging woes of round bellies and weak muscles. What if we could lose flab and get strong in one stroke?

Alexander Pfeifer and colleagues from the University of Bonn are on it!

Meet the A2B receptor. Mouse muscle and fat cells have lots of them! The receptors act like antennas, catching signals from the environment that change the way cells behave. Could that give these mice a leg up at the gym?

The researchers put older mice through four weeks of A2B activation. They were then compared to normal young mice. Pinging A2B causes muscle cells to grow more and fat cells to burn more fat.

Amazingly, these senior mice ended up with a grip strength similar to the young mice! Mice who received stimulation also had more muscle than body fat.

And hold your whiskers! A2B receptors are also found in human cells. More research could lead to big improvements in health and fitness!

Sounds squeaking awesome!