Shared and distinct mechanisms of skeletal muscle atrophy: A narrative review

Ageing Res Rev. 2021 Nov;71:101463. doi: 10.1016/j.arr.2021.101463. Epub 2021 Sep 15.


Maintenance of skeletal muscle mass and function is an incredibly nuanced balance of anabolism and catabolism that can become distorted within different pathological conditions. In this paper we intend to discuss the distinct intracellular signaling events that regulate muscle protein atrophy for a given clinical occurrence. Aside from the common outcome of muscle deterioration, several conditions have at least one or more distinct mechanisms that creates unique intracellular environments that facilitate muscle loss. The subtle individuality to each of these given pathologies can provide both researchers and clinicians with specific targets of interest to further identify and increase the efficacy of medical treatments and interventions.

Keywords: Atrophy; Cachexia; Catabolism; Muscle loss; Muscle protein degradation; Sarcopenia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cachexia* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Muscle Proteins / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Muscular Atrophy* / pathology
  • Signal Transduction


  • Muscle Proteins