Institute of Sports Medicine, Copenhagen – University of Copenhagen

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Projects in Institute of Sports Medicine, Copenhagen

Institute of Sports Medicine (ISMC) is a part of Bispebjerg Hospital under Faculty of Health and Med Sci and hosts both basic and clinical research within matrix biology and skeletal muscle in relation to elderly individuals. The research focuses on tendon and skeletal muscle and its adaptation to mechanical loading – basic mechanisms and clinical relevance for tissue injury, tendon overloading and age-related muscle loss. It hosts clinicians, basic researchers, integrative and clinical researchers.

Our approach includes:

  1. basic molecular and biomechanical investigations
  2. cellular studies on protein expression 
  3. synthesis and turnover of collagen and non-collagen matrix proteins 
  4. cellular mobility and interaction 
  5. physiological studies that determine in vivo measures of tissue turnover and material mechanical properties 
  6. studies in patients with connective tissue disease and skeletal muscle.

Investigation of connective tissue properties have revealed that accumulation of non-reversible advanced glycation end products is reduced in individuals performing life-long endurance sports, and that the connective tissue in tendons becomes loose during inactivity, but acquires its normal characteristics during re-mobilization.

The inactivity-related change in mechanical properties can be counteracted by administration of growth hormone and subsequent release of insulin-like growth factor I, particularly in young individuals. We have shown that muscle mass is inversely correlated with level of inflammatory circulating markers. Although the levels of inflammatory markers was within the normal range in healthy individuals, we observed that elderly endurance master athletes (70 yrs) had similar levels of inflammatory markers as those measured in younger (20 yrs) untrained individuals. Consistent with higher inflammatory factor levels in aged individuals being associated with lower muscle mass, we also observed that inactivity-induced muscle loss in the elderly was counteracted markedly when individuals received anti-inflammatory medication.

In 2011 ISMC was awarded the Global Excell Center by the Reg Medical Authorities for achievements in combining research and clinical activity. Our group has participated in larger international research efforts (EU, FP7).  

IMSC has 2 Professors, 4 Ass Prof, 4 post docs, 8 phd students and 3 technicians, and houses facilities for human invasive experiments, determination of muscle force/oxygen uptake and cell cultures. Technologies mastered include immunohistochem, fluorescence micr, stable and radioactive tracer studies, protein chemistry, qRT-PCR, atomic force micr, and US mechanical tissue characteristics. The ISMC has intern collab with research groups and exchange of post docs and PhD students.