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Research to Date

The Sharples Lab has been investigating nutritional interventions that can reduce the negative impact of ageing, caloric restriction and inflammation in skeletal muscle, including:

  1. Caloric restriction in muscle ageing and atrophy (Sharples et al., 2015 Aging Cell; Dugdale et al., 2017 Mol Cell Biochem).
  2. CHO restriction, fat and protein manipulation in muscle metabolism collaboration with Prof. James Morton (LJMU) and Dr. Julien Louis (Impey et al., 2016 Physiol Reps; Hammond et al., 2016 MSSE; Impey et al., 2018 IJSNEM; Allan et al., 2019 Physiol Rep; Hammond et al., 2019 J Physiol; Heariss et al., 2019 J Appl Physiol ; Heariss et al., 2020 Exp Physiol; Allan et al., 2020 Eur J Appl Physiol)
  3. L-Glutamine in dampening the impact of age-related inflamed environments in skeletal muscle cells (Girven et al., 2016 J Cell Physiol).
  4. Vitamin D in human muscle cell migration and regeneration in collaboration with Prof. Graeme Close and Dr. Daniel Owens (LJMU) (Owens et al., 2015 Am J Physiol Endo Metab).
  5. Omega-3 fish oil in promoting muscle cell regeneration in high fat/inflamed ageing environments, mimicking sarcopenic obesity, in collaboration with Dr. Saini (Karolinska Institute) and Prof. Stewart (LJMU) (Saini et al., 2016 Biogerontology).
  6. HMB and leucine in aged muscle cell migration in collaboration with Prof. Claire Stewart (LJMU) (Brown et al., 2017 Biogerontology).
  7. Resveratrol in reducing the negative effects of inflamed ageing environments and calorie restriction (Saini et al., 2012 Exp Physiol; Dugdale et al., 2017 Mol Cell Biochem).

Current / Future Research Focus 

Image above: Resveratrol (found in the skin of red grapes) chemical structure.

In collaboration with synthetic chemist Dr Chris Coxon (LJMU, UK) we are currently investigating the role of novel resveratrol analogues in skeletal muscle cells. Resveratrol is a polyphenol derived from the skin of red grapes and has been associated with lifespan extension in animal models. Early work in collaboration with Dr. Amarjit Saini (Karolinska Institute) and Professor Claire Stewart (LJMU) identified that resveratrol could help protect muscle from inflamed muscle wasting in-vitro (link). The Sharples Muscle lab have since identified that resveratrol can prevent muscle wasting as a result of glucose restriction in-vitro (link). However, its impact is not long lasting. We are therefore investigating the role of these novel resveratrol analogues in regulating an epigenetic modifier, histone deacetylase SIRT1, and its cross talk with IGF and TNF-alpha signalling in muscle wasting in-vitro, in an attempt to optimise and extend the positive benefits of resveratrol.