Abigail Mackey

Abigail Mackey

Associate Professor

Current research

Skeletal muscle produces the forces required for movement of the human body. To perform this function, each muscle fibre is dependent on neural input to inititate contraction, and a strong attachment to the skeleton for force transmission. The overall aim of our group is to understand how these two components of physical function are affected during the ageing process, and how physical activity can help to slow some of the decline.

Muscle fiber denervation

Muscle fibres depend on neural input from a motoneurone, not only for contraction but also for survival. A loss of neural input therefore leads to a loss of muscle fibres and is a major contributor to functional decline with ageing. We study the muscle-nerve communication and how exercise maintains this to preserve physical function in old age.

Funded by Lundbeck Foundation Ascending Investigator grant, "Mechanisms behind the benefits of physical exercise on motoneuron survival with ageing in humans"

Repair of injured human skeletal muscle

The point of attachment of the muscle fibre to the skeleton is the myotendinous junction. Despite a specialised morphology and molecular composition, the MTJ is also a frequent site of strain injury. We study the human MTJ in the intact and injured states to understand its molecular makeup compared to neighbouring muscle and tendon. 

Funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, "Rebuilding the human myotendinous junction piece by piece: understanding how muscle injuries are repaired"

Selected publications

  1. Published

    Preserved stem cell content and innervation profile of elderly human skeletal muscle with lifelong recreational exercise

    Soendenbroe, C., Dahl, C. L., Meulengracht, C., Tamáš, M., Svensson, R. B., Schjerling, Peter, Kjær, Michael, Andersen, Jesper Løvind & Mackey, Abigail, 2022, In: The Journal of Physiology. 600, 8, p. 1969-1989

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  2. Published

    The proteomic profile of the human myotendinous junction

    Karlsen, A., Gonzalez-Franquesa, A., Jakobsen, J. R., Krogsgaard, Michael R., Koch, M., Kjær, Michael, Schiaffino, S., Mackey, Abigail & Deshmukh, Atul Shahaji, 2022, In: iScience. 25, 2, 19 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  3. Published

    RNA-sequencing and immunofluorescence of the myotendinous junction of mature horses and humans

    Jakobsen, J. R., Schjerling, Peter, Svensson, R. B., Buhl, Rikke, Carstensen, Helena, Koch, M., Rindom Krogsgaard, M. R., Kjær, Michael & Mackey, Abigail, 2021, In: American journal of physiology. Cell physiology. 321, p. C453–C470

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  4. Published

    Preserved capacity for satellite cell proliferation, regeneration, and hypertrophy in the skeletal muscle of healthy elderly men

    Karlsen, A., Soendenbroe, C., Malmgaard‐clausen, N. M., Wagener, F., Moeller, C. E., Senhaji, Z., Damberg, K., Andersen, Jesper Løvind, Schjerling, P., Kjær, Michael & Mackey, Abigail, 2020, In: The FASEB Journal. 34, 5, p. 6418-6436

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  5. Published

    Muscle-nerve communication and the molecular assessment of human skeletal muscle denervation with aging

    Søndenbroe, C., Andersen, Jesper Løvind & Mackey, Abigail, 2021, In: American journal of physiology. Cell physiology. 321, 2, p. C317-C329

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

ID: 920363