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Public Health and Sport Sciences

The role of skeletal muscle in nitric oxide homeostasis across the lifespan

Nitric oxide is one of the most important signalling molecules in the human body due to its essential role in a large array of physiological processes, including blood pressure regulation, cognition and skeletal muscle contraction. An age-related decline in the availability of nitric oxide contributes to increases in blood pressure and skeletal muscle dysfunction in older age.

In partnership with Dr Alan Schechter and Dr Barbora Piknova at the National Institute of Health (NIH, Bethesda, USA), and with financial support from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), we are conducting research to understand the pivotal role that human skeletal muscle plays in supporting nitric oxide availability across the lifespan, through the storage, distribution and metabolism of dietary nitrate.

The NIH and University of Exeter research team

The NIH and University of Exeter research team

This novel and exciting new area of study may enable the development of interventions to counter age-related declines in cardiovascular health, neuromuscular function and wellbeing.

» Find out more about our previous work with dietary nitrate

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BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council) US Partnering Award