Esther E. Dupont-Versteegden, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Dept. Rehabilitation Sciences, Division of Physical Therapy

Movement Sciences, MS, University of Maastricht, Netherlands
Physiology, Ph.D., University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Postdoctoral training, University of Arkansas of Medical Sciences

Research Interests

Dr. Dupont-Versteegden’s research interests have focused on investigating the underlying cellular mechanisms of skeletal muscle atrophy in general and sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass with aging, in particular. The role of adult muscle stem cells and nuclear apoptosis have been studied using different animal models of disuse muscle atrophy, such as spinal cord injury and hind limb suspension, and muscle sparing interventions, such as exercise and reloading. In addition, changes in bone properties as a possible consequence of the changes in muscle with disuse and aging have recently been investigated and the role that bone marrow stem cells and muscle stem cells play in the loss of muscle and bone mass with disuse and aging is the focus of her current studies.

The goal of Dr. Dupont-Versteegden’s research is to gain a better understanding of processes underlying muscle atrophy and to eventually develop interventions which help maintain muscle mass with disuse and aging, thereby maintaining functional independence in elderly.

Representative Publications

Dupont-Versteegden, E. E., Houlé, J. D., Gurley, C. M., and Peterson, C. A. Early changes in muscle fiber size and gene expression in response to spinal cord transection and exercise. American Journal Physiology, 275: C1124-C1133, 1998.

Dupont-Versteegden, E. E., Murphy R. J.L., Houlé, J. D., Gurley, C. M., and Peterson, C. A. Activated satellite cells fail to restore myonuclear number in spinal cord transected and exercised rats. American Journal Physiology, 277:C589-C597, 1999.

Gallegly, J.C., Turesky, N.A., Strotman, B.A., Gurley, C.M., Peterson, C.A., and Dupont-Versteegden, E.E. Satellite cell regulation of muscle mass is altered at old age. Journal of Applied Physiology, 97: 1082-1090, 2004.

Leeuwenburgh, C., Gurley, C.M., Strotman, B.A., and Dupont-Versteegden, E.E. Age-related differences in apoptosis with disuse atrophy in soleus muscle. American Journal of Physiology Regulatory, Integrative, and Comparative Physiology, 288: R1288-R1296, 2005.

Dupont-Versteegden, E.E. Apoptosis in muscle atrophy: relevance to sarcopenia. Experimental Gerontology, 40: 473-481, 2005.

Dupont-Versteegden, E.E., Strotman, B.A., Gurley, C.M., Gaddy, D., Knox, M., Fluckey, J.D., and Peterson, C.A. Nuclear translocation of EndoG at the initiation of disuse muscle atrophy and apoptosis is specific to myonuclei. American Journal Physiology Regulatory, Integrative, and Comparative Physiology, 291: R1730-R1740, 2006.

Perrien, D.S., Akel, N.S., Dupont-Versteegden, E.E., Siegel, E., Suva, L.J., Gaddy, D. Aging alters the skeletal response to disuse in the rat. American Journal Physiology Regulatory, Integrative, and Comparative Physiology, 292:R988-R996, 2007.

Hofer, T., Marzetti, E., Xu, J., Seo, A.Y., Gulec, S., Knutson, M.D., Leeuwenburgh, C., and Dupont-Versteegden, E.E. Increased iron content and RNA oxidative damage in skeletal muscle with aging and disuse atrophy. Experimental Gerontology, 43: 563-570, 2008.

Dupont-Versteegden, E.E., Nagarajan, R., Beggs, M.L., Bearden, T., Simpson, P., and Peterson, C.A. Identification of cold-shock protein RBM3 as a possible regulator of skeletal muscle size through expression profiling. American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative, and Comparative Physiology, 295:R1263-R1273, 2008.

Contact Information

Tel: (859) 323-1100 ext. 80592
Fax: (859) 323-6003