University of Missouri School of Medicine MU Health School of Medicine

Frank Booth, PhD

Frank Booth, PhD.


Research Interests

My lab research focuses on mechanisms in two areas: a) impaired growth of old skeletal muscle and b) multi-organ changes when physically active rats become inactive. Focus area 1: When young skeletal muscle atrophies because of limb immobilization, it regrows to pre-atrophy in four weeks; however when the skeletal muscle of old rats is atrophied by limb immobilization, it has impaired growth. As 8.9 million older individuals in the USA have weak skeletal muscles that limit the quality of their life, knowledge is needed to understand the molecular basis of this impairment. My lab is focusing on impaired satellite cell proliferation and differentiation in old skeletal muscle.

Satellite cells are adult skeletal muscle stem cells that provide new nuclei to muscle fibers during regeneration from damage to the muscle or when muscle fibers hypertrophy. We are concentrating on those molecules that might regulate impaired proliferation and differentiation in old skeletal muscle. Focus area 2: I have developed a unique animal model of physical inactivity which exhibits many characteristics leading to pre-diabetes. The model consists of young rats that have been physically active on voluntary running wheels for 21 days. On day 22, the running wheel is locked to induce physical inactivity. At 53 hours of inactivity, these rats develop properties that are precursors to prediabetes, including: a) diminished skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity along with increased plasma insulin, together implying the beginning of whole body insulin resistance, b) epididymal and omental fat mass increases of 25% and 48%, respectively and c) elevated plasma triacylglycerides, implying characteristics that could be precursors to lipid interference with insulin signaling. This model enables my lab to define the important chronology of changes that lead to prediabetes/type 2 diabetes when physical inactivity is decreased.

Professional Background

  • BS in Biology, Denison University
  • PhD in Exercise Physiology, University of Iowa
  • Postdoctoral fellowship at the School of Aerospace Medicine
  • Postdoctoral fellowship as Washington University, St. Louis
  • Joined the Department in 1999
  • Recipient of National Institute of Health MERIT Award
  • Member of Editorial Boards for Journal of Applied Physiology, American Journal of Physiology: Cell Physiology, Physiological Genomics, and CardioMetabolic Syndrome, 2006
  • Member of Respiratory and Applied Physiology study sections of the National Institute of Health
  • Research funded by National Institute of Health

Selected Publications

  • Kump DS, Laye MJ, Booth FW. Increased mitochondrial glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase protein and enzyme activity in rat epididymal fat upon cessation of wheel running. Am J Physiol Endocr Metabol. 2005 Oct 18; [Epub ahead of print].
  • Lees SJ, Rathbone, CR, Booth FW. Age-associated decrease in muscle cell precursor differentiation. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol., 2005 Sep 28; [Epub ahead of print].
  • Kump DS, Booth FW. Sustained rise in triacylglycerol synthesis and increased epididymal fat mass when rats cease voluntary wheel running. J Physiol. 565:911-925, 2005.
  • Kump DS, Booth FW. Alterations in insulin receptor signalling in the rat epitrochlearis muscle upon cessation of voluntary exercise. J. Physiol. 562:829-838, 2005.
  • Chakravarthy MV, Booth FW. Eating, exercise, and "thrifty" genotypes: connecting the dots toward an evolutionary understanding of modern chronic diseases. J Appl Physiol. 96:3-10, 2004.


Isolation and culture of satellite cells, transfection, gene expression, electrophoresis, western blots, real-time PCR, cloning of genes, deletional analysis of promoters, electromobility shift assays, immunoprecipitation, enzyme activities, palmitic acid incorporation into triacylglycerol, thin layer chromatography, proteosome activity, immunohistochemistry, small animal surgery, and animal models of physical activity and inactivity.


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