BACKGROUND. During aging, there is a functional decline in the pool of muscle stem cells (MuSCs) that influences the functional and regenerative capacity of skeletal muscle. Preclinical evidence has suggested that nicotinamide riboside (NR) and pterostilbene (PT) can improve muscle regeneration, e.g., by increasing MuSC function. The objective of this study was to investigate if supplementation with NR and PT (NRPT) promotes skeletal muscle regeneration after muscle injury in elderly individuals by improved recruitment of MuSCs.
METHODS. Thirty-two elderly individuals (55–80 years of age) were randomized to daily supplementation with either NRPT (1,000 mg NR and 200 mg PT) or matched placebo. Two weeks after initiation of supplementation, skeletal muscle injury was induced by electrically induced eccentric muscle work. Skeletal muscle biopsies were obtained before, 2 hours after, and 2, 8, and 30 days after injury.
RESULTS. A substantial skeletal muscle injury was induced by the protocol and associated with release of myoglobin and creatine kinase, muscle soreness, tissue edema, and a decrease in muscle strength. MuSC content, proliferation, and cell size revealed a large demand for recruitment after injury, but this was not affected by NRPT. Furthermore, histological analyses of muscle fiber area, central nuclei, and embryonic myosin heavy chain showed no NRPT supplementation effect.
CONCLUSION. Daily supplementation with 1,000 mg NR and 200 mg PT is safe but does not improve recruitment of the MuSC pool or other measures of muscle recovery in response to injury or subsequent regeneration in elderly individuals.
TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03754842.
FUNDING. Novo Nordisk Foundation (NNF17OC0027242) and Novo Nordisk Foundation CBMR.