bims-moremu Biomed News
on Molecular regulators of muscle mass
Issue of 2021‒05‒02
forty-five papers selected by
Anna Vainshtein
Craft Science Inc.

  1. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2021 Apr 28.
      In vitro models of muscle ageing are useful for understanding mechanisms of age-related muscle loss and aiding the development of targeted therapies. To investigate mechanisms of age-related muscle loss in vitro utilizing ex vivo human serum, fasted blood samples were obtained from 4 old (72 ± 1 years) and 4 young (26 ± 3 years) men. Older individuals had elevated levels of plasma CRP, IL-6, HOMA-IR, and lower concentric peak torque and work-per-repetition compared with young participants (P < 0.05). C2C12 myotubes were serum and amino acid starved for 1-hour and conditioned with human serum (10%) for 4 or 24-hours. After 4-hours C2C12 cells were treated with 5mM leucine for 30-minutes. Muscle protein synthesis (MPS) was determined through the surface sensing of translation (SUnSET) technique and regulatory signaling pathways measured via Western Blot. Myotube diameter was significantly reduced in myotubes treated with serum from old, in comparison to young donors (84%, P < 0.001). MPS was reduced in myotubes treated with old donor serum, compared to young serum prior to leucine treatment (32%, P < 0.01). MPS and the phosphorylation of Akt, p70S6K and eEF2 were increased in myotubes treated with young serum in response to leucine treatment, with a blunted response identified in cells treated with old serum (P < 0.05). Muscle protein breakdown signaling pathways did not differ between groups. In summary, we show that myotubes conditioned with serum from older individuals had decreased myotube diameter and MPS compared with younger individuals, potentially driven by low-grade systemic inflammation.
    Keywords:  Anabolic Resistance; Leucine; Muscle Protein Synthesis; Serum; Skeletal muscle cells
  2. Cells Tissues Organs. 2021 Apr 28. 1-14
      Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a devastating and debilitating muscle degenerative disease affecting 1 in every 3,500 male births worldwide. DMD is progressive and fatal; accumulated weakening of the muscle tissue leads to an inability to walk and eventual loss of life due to respiratory and cardiac failure. Importantly, there remains no effective cure for DMD. DMD is caused by defective expression of the DMD gene, which encodes for dystrophin, a component of the dystrophin glycoprotein complex. In muscle fibers, this protein complex plays a critical role in maintaining muscle membrane integrity. Emerging studies have shown that muscle stem cells, which are adult stem cells responsible for muscle repair, are also affected in DMD. DMD muscle stem cells do not function as healthy muscle stem cells, and their impairment contributes to disease progression. Deficiencies in muscle stem cell function include impaired establishment of cell polarity leading to defective asymmetric stem cell division, reduced myogenic commitment, impaired differentiation, altered metabolism, and enhanced entry into senescence. Altogether, these findings indicate that DMD muscle stem cells are dysfunctional and have impaired regenerative potential. Although recent advances in adeno-associated vector and antisense oligonucleotide-mediated mechanisms for gene therapy have shown clinical promise, the current therapeutic strategies for muscular dystrophy do not effectively target muscle stem cells and do not address the deficiencies in muscle stem cell function. Here, we discuss the merits of restoring endogenous muscle stem cell function in degenerating muscle as a viable regenerative medicine strategy to mitigate DMD.
    Keywords:  Duchenne muscular dystrophy; Muscle regeneration; Myogenesis; Myopathy; Satellite cell
  3. J Physiol. 2021 Apr 29.
      KEY POINTS: Tamoxifen-inducible skeletal muscle-specific AXIN1 knockout (AXIN1 imKO) in mouse does not affect whole-body energy substrate metabolism. AXIN1 imKO does not affect AICAR or insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in adult skeletal muscle AXIN1 imKO does not affect adult skeletal muscle AMPK or mTORC1 signaling during AICAR/insulin/amino acid incubation, contraction and exercise. During exercise, α2/β2/γ3AMPK and AMP/ATP ratio show greater increases in AXIN1 imKO than wild-type in gastrocnemius muscle.ABSTRACT: AXIN1 is a scaffold protein known to interact with >20 proteins in signal transduction pathways regulating cellular development and function. Recently, AXIN1 was proposed to assemble a protein complex essential to catabolic-anabolic transition by coordinating AMPK activation and inactivation of mTORC1 and to regulate glucose uptake-stimulation by both AMPK and insulin. To investigate whether AXIN1 is permissive for adult skeletal muscle function, a phenotypic in vivo and ex vivo characterization of tamoxifen-inducible skeletal muscle-specific AXIN1 knockout (AXIN1 imKO) mice was conducted. AXIN1 imKO did not influence AMPK/mTORC1 signaling or glucose uptake stimulation, neither at rest nor in response to different exercise/contraction protocols, pharmacological AMPK activation, insulin or amino acids stimulation. The only genotypic difference observed was in exercising gastrocnemius muscle, where AXIN1 imKO displayed elevated α2/β2/γ3 AMPK activity and AMP/ATP ratio compared to wild-type mice. Our work shows that AXIN1 imKO generally does not affect skeletal muscle AMPK/mTORC1 signaling and glucose metabolism, likely due to functional redundancy of its homolog AXIN2. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
  4. Cells. 2021 Apr 26. pii: 1022. [Epub ahead of print]10(5):
      Exercise training promotes muscle adaptation and remodelling by balancing the processes of anabolism and catabolism; however, the mechanisms by which exercise delays accelerated muscle wasting are not fully understood. Intramuscular extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins are essential to tissue structure and function, as they create a responsive environment for the survival and repair of the muscle fibres. However, their role in muscle adaptation is underappreciated and underinvestigated. The PubMed, COCHRANE, Scopus and CIHNAL databases were systematically searched from inception until February 2021. The inclusion criteria were on ECM adaptation after exercise training in healthy adult population. Evidence from 21 studies on 402 participants demonstrates that exercise training induces muscle remodelling, and this is accompanied by ECM adaptation. All types of exercise interventions promoted a widespread increase in collagens, glycoproteins and proteoglycans ECM transcriptomes in younger and older participants. The ECM controlling mechanisms highlighted here were concerned with myogenic and angiogenic processes during muscle adaptation and remodelling. Further research identifying the mechanisms underlying the link between ECMs and muscle adaptation will support the discovery of novel therapeutic targets and the development of personalised exercise training medicine.
    Keywords:  adaptation; ageing; collagens; exercise training; extracellular matrix; glycoproteins; myogenesis; proteoglycans; remodelling; skeletal muscle
  5. Sci Rep. 2021 Apr 28. 11(1): 9130
      In patients with chronic kidney disease, skeletal muscle dysfunction is associated with mortality. Uremic sarcopenia is caused by ageing, malnutrition, and chronic inflammation, but the molecular mechanism and potential therapeutics have not been fully elucidated yet. We hypothesize that accumulated uremic toxins might exert a direct deteriorative effect on skeletal muscle and explore the pharmacological treatment in experimental animal and culture cell models. The mice intraperitoneally injected with indoxyl sulfate (IS) after unilateral nephrectomy displayed an elevation of IS concentration in skeletal muscle and a reduction of instantaneous muscle strength, along with the predominant loss of fast-twitch myofibers and intramuscular reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. The addition of IS in the culture media decreased the size of fully differentiated mouse C2C12 myotubes as well. ROS accumulation and mitochondrial dysfunction were also noted. Next, the effect of the β2-adrenergic receptor (β2-AR) agonist, clenbuterol, was evaluated as a potential treatment for uremic sarcopenia. In mice injected with IS, clenbuterol treatment increased the muscle mass and restored the tissue ROS level but failed to improve muscle weakness. In C2C12 myotubes stimulated with IS, although β2-AR activation also attenuated myotube size reduction and ROS accumulation as did other anti-oxidant reagents, it failed to augment the mitochondrial membrane potential. In conclusion, IS provokes muscular strength loss (uremic dynapenia), ROS generation, and mitochondrial impairment. Although the β2-AR agonist can increase the muscular mass with ROS reduction, development of therapeutic interventions for restoring skeletal muscle function is still awaited.
  6. Cells. 2021 Apr 26. pii: 1017. [Epub ahead of print]10(5):
      Inflammation-mediated skeletal muscle wasting occurs in patients with sepsis and cancer cachexia. Both conditions severely affect patient morbidity and mortality. Lithium chloride has previously been shown to enhance myogenesis and prevent certain forms of muscular dystrophy. However, to our knowledge, the effect of lithium chloride treatment on sepsis-induced muscle atrophy and cancer cachexia has not yet been investigated. In this study, we aimed to examine the effects of lithium chloride using in vitro and in vivo models of cancer cachexia and sepsis. Lithium chloride prevented wasting in myotubes cultured with cancer cell-conditioned media, maintained the expression of the muscle fiber contractile protein, myosin heavy chain 2, and inhibited the upregulation of the E3 ubiquitin ligase, Atrogin-1. In addition, it inhibited the upregulation of inflammation-associated cytokines in macrophages treated with lipopolysaccharide. In the animal model of sepsis, lithium chloride treatment improved body weight, increased muscle mass, preserved the survival of larger fibers, and decreased the expression of muscle-wasting effector genes. In a model of cancer cachexia, lithium chloride increased muscle mass, enhanced muscle strength, and increased fiber cross-sectional area, with no significant effect on tumor mass. These results indicate that lithium chloride exerts therapeutic effects on inflammation-mediated skeletal muscle wasting, such as sepsis-induced muscle atrophy and cancer cachexia.
    Keywords:  cancer cachexia; glycogen synthase kinase-3β; intensive care unit-acquired weakness; lithium chloride; sepsis; skeletal muscle wasting
  7. Physiol Rep. 2021 Apr;9(7): e14808
      Dynamin-related protein-1 (Drp1) is a key regulator in mitochondrial fission. Excessive Drp1-mediated mitochondrial fission in skeletal muscle under the obese condition is associated with impaired insulin action. However, it remains unknown whether pharmacological inhibition of Drp1, using the Drp1-specific inhibitor Mitochondrial Division Inhibitor 1 (Mdivi-1), is effective in alleviating skeletal muscle insulin resistance and improving whole-body metabolic health under the obese and insulin-resistant condition. We subjected C57BL/6J mice to a high-fat diet (HFD) or low-fat diet (LFD) for 5-weeks. HFD-fed mice received Mdivi-1 or saline injections for the last week of the diet intervention. Additionally, myotubes derived from obese insulin-resistant humans were treated with Mdivi-1 or saline for 12 h. We measured glucose area under the curve (AUC) from a glucose tolerance test (GTT), skeletal muscle insulin action, mitochondrial dynamics, respiration, and H2 O2 content. We found that Mdivi-1 attenuated impairments in skeletal muscle insulin signaling and blood glucose AUC from a GTT induced by HFD feeding (p < 0.05). H2 O2 content was elevated in skeletal muscle from the HFD group (vs. LFD, p < 0.05), but was reduced with Mdivi-1 treatment, which may partially explain the improvement in skeletal muscle insulin action. Similarly, Mdivi-1 enhanced the mitochondrial network structure, reduced reactive oxygen species, and improved insulin action in myotubes from obese humans (vs. saline, p < 0.05). In conclusion, inhibiting Drp1 with short-term Mdivi-1 administration attenuates the impairment in skeletal muscle insulin signaling and improves whole-body glucose tolerance in the setting of obesity-induced insulin resistance. Targeting Drp1 may be a viable approach to treat obesity-induced insulin resistance.
    Keywords:  insulin resistance; mitochondrial dynamics; obesity; skeletal muscle
  8. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Apr 26. pii: 4499. [Epub ahead of print]22(9):
      Resident myogenic stem cells (satellite cells) are attracting attention for their novel roles in myofiber type regulation. In the myogenic differentiation phase, satellite cells from soleus muscle (slow fiber-abundant) synthesize and secrete higher levels of semaphorin 3A (Sema3A, a multifunctional modulator) than those derived from extensor digitorum longus (EDL; fast fiber-abundant), suggesting the role of Sema3A in forming slow-twitch myofibers. However, the regulatory mechanisms underlying fast-twitch myotube commitment remain unclear. Herein, we focused on netrin family members (netrin-1, -3, and -4) that compete with Sema3A in neurogenesis and osteogenesis. We examined whether netrins affect fast-twitch myotube generation by evaluating their expression in primary satellite cell cultures. Initially, netrins are upregulated during myogenic differentiation. Next, we compared the expression levels of netrins and their cell membrane receptors between soleus- and EDL-derived satellite cells; only netrin-1 showed higher expression in EDL-derived satellite cells than in soleus-derived satellite cells. We also performed netrin-1 knockdown experiments and additional experiments with recombinant netrin-1 in differentiated satellite cell-derived myoblasts. Netrin-1 knockdown in myoblasts substantially reduced fast-type myosin heavy chain (MyHC) expression; exogenous netrin-1 upregulated fast-type MyHC in satellite cells. Thus, netrin-1 synthesized in EDL-derived satellite cells may promote myofiber type commitment of fast muscles.
    Keywords:  fast-twitch; myofiber type; myosin heavy chain; myotube; netrin-1; satellite cells
  9. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Apr 07. pii: 3874. [Epub ahead of print]18(8):
      The physical contact site between a mitochondrion and endoplasmic reticulum (ER), named the mitochondria-associated membrane (MAM), has emerged as a fundamental platform for regulating the functions of the two organelles and several cellular processes. This includes Ca2+ transport from the ER to mitochondria, mitochondrial dynamics, autophagy, apoptosis signalling, ER stress signalling, redox reaction, and membrane structure maintenance. Consequently, the MAM is suggested to be involved in, and as a possible therapeutic target for, some common diseases and impairment in skeletal muscle function, such as insulin resistance and diabetes, obesity, neurodegenerative diseases, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, age-related muscle atrophy, and exercise-induced muscle damage. In the past decade, evidence suggests that alterations in Ca2+ transport from the ER to mitochondria, mediated by the macromolecular complex formed by IP3R, Grp75, and VDAC1, may be a universal mechanism for how ER-mitochondria cross-talk is involved in different physiological/pathological conditions mentioned above. A better understanding of the ER (or sarcoplasmic reticulum in muscle)-mitochondria Ca2+ transport system may provide a new perspective for exploring the mechanism of how the MAM is involved in the pathology of diseases and skeletal muscle dysfunction. This review provides a summary of recent research findings in this area.
    Keywords:  endo/sarcoplasmic reticulum-mitochondria Ca2+ transport; mitochondria-associated membrane; mitochondrial calcium overload; skeletal muscle function
  10. Animals (Basel). 2021 Apr 04. pii: 1016. [Epub ahead of print]11(4):
      Skeletal muscle satellite cell growth and development is a complicated process driven by multiple genes. The PDZ and LIM domain 5 (PDLIM5) gene has been proven to function in C2C12 myoblast differentiation and is involved in the regulation of skeletal muscle development. The role of PDLIM5 in chicken skeletal muscle satellite cells, however, is unclear. In this study, in order to determine whether the PDLIM5 gene has a function in chicken skeletal muscle satellite cells, we examined the changes in proliferation and differentiation of chicken skeletal muscle satellite cells (SMSCs) after interfering and overexpressing PDLIM5 in cells. In addition, the molecular pathways of the PDLIM5 gene regulating SMSC proliferation and differentiation were analyzed by transcriptome sequencing. Our results show that PDLIM5 can promote the proliferation and differentiation of SMSCs; furthermore, through transcriptome sequencing, it can be found that the differential genes are enriched in the MAPK signaling pathway after knocking down PDLIM5. Finally, it was verified that PDLIM5 played an active role in the proliferation and differentiation of chicken SMSCs by activating the p38-MAPK signaling pathway. These results indicate that PDLIM5 may be involved in the growth and development of chicken skeletal muscle.
    Keywords:  PDLIM5; chicken; differentiation; p38-MAPK pathway; proliferation; skeletal muscle satellite cells
  11. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Apr 02. pii: 3721. [Epub ahead of print]22(7):
      The process of myogenesis gradually deteriorates as the skeletal muscle ages, contributing to muscle mass loss. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of senescence/aging on skeletal myogenesis, in vitro. A model of multiple cell divisions of C2C12 myoblasts was used to replicate cell senescence. Control and aged myoblasts were investigated during myogenesis, i.e., at days 0, 2, and 6of differentiation. SA-β-gal activity and comet assay were used as markers of aging and DNA damage. Flow cytometry was performed to characterize potential differences in cell cycle between control and aged cells. Alterations in the mRNA and/or protein expression of myogenic regulatory factors (MRFs), IGF-1 isoforms, apoptotic, atrophy, inflammatory, metabolic and aging-related factors were evaluated. Compared with the control cells, aged myoblasts exhibited G0/G1 cell cycle arrest, DNA damage, increased SA-β-gal activity, and increased expression of aging-related factors p16 and p21 during differentiation. Moreover, aged myoblasts showed a reduction in the expression of MRFs and metabolic/anabolic factors, along with an increased expression of apoptotic, atrophy and inflammatory factors. A diminished differentiation capacity characterized the aged myoblasts which, in combination with the induction of apoptotic and atrophy factors, indicated a disrupted myogenic lineage in the senescent muscle cells.
    Keywords:  aging; cellular senescence; muscle atrophy; myoblasts; myogenesis; sarcopenia
  12. Geriatrics (Basel). 2021 Apr 06. pii: 37. [Epub ahead of print]6(2):
      Aging is a primary risk factor for the progressive loss of function, disease onset, and increased vulnerability to negative health-related outcomes. These clinical manifestations arise in part from declines in mitochondrial, metabolic, and other processes considered to be hallmarks of aging. Collectively, these changes can be defined as age-associated cellular decline (AACD) and are often associated with fatigue, reduced strength, and low physical activity. This manuscript summarizes a recent Gerontological Society of America Annual Scientific Meeting symposium that explored mechanisms, clinical signs, and emerging cellular nutrition interventions for AACD. The session opened by highlighting results of an expert consensus that developed an initial framework to identify self-reported symptoms and observable signs of AACD in adults aged >50 years. Next, findings from the multi-ethnic molecular determinants of sarcopenia study were discussed, showing impaired mitochondrial bioenergetic capacity and NAD+ metabolism in skeletal muscle of older adults with sarcopenia. Lastly, recent clinical evidence was presented linking urolithin A, a natural mitophagy activator, to improved mitochondrial and cellular health. The virtual panel discussed how stimulation of mitochondrial function via biological pathways, such as mitophagy and NAD+ augmentation, could improve cellular function and muscle health, potentially impacting clinical signs of AACD and overall healthy aging.
    Keywords:  AACD; accelerated aging and cellular decline; age-associated cellular decline; cellular nutrition; mitochondria; muscle; nicotinamide riboside; sarcopenia; urolithin A
  13. Hum Mol Genet. 2021 Apr 28. pii: ddab112. [Epub ahead of print]
      Nemaline myopathy, a disease of the actin-based thin filament, is one of the most frequent congenital myopathies. To date, no specific therapy is available to treat muscle weakness in nemaline myopathy. We tested the ability of tirasemtiv, a fast skeletal troponin activator that targets the thin filament, to augment muscle force-both in vivo and in vitro-in a nemaline myopathy mouse model with a mutation (H40Y) in Acta1. In Acta1H40Y mice, treatment with tirasemtiv increased the force response of muscles to submaximal stimulation frequencies. This resulted in a reduced energetic cost of force generation, which increases the tolerance to fatigue. The inotropic effects of tirasemtiv were present in locomotor muscles and, albeit to a lesser extent, in respiratory muscles, and they persisted during chronic treatment, an important finding as respiratory failure is the main cause of death in patients with congenital myopathy. Finally, translational studies on permeabilized muscle fibers isolated from a biopsy of a patient with the ACTA1H40Y mutation revealed that at physiological Ca2+ concentrations, tirasemtiv increased force generation to values that were close to those generated in muscle fibers of healthy subjects. These findings indicate the therapeutic potential of fast skeletal muscle troponin activators to improve muscle function in nemaline myopathy due to the ACTA1H40Y mutation, and future studies should assess their merit for other forms of nemaline myopathy and for other congenital myopathies.
  14. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Apr 19. pii: 4236. [Epub ahead of print]22(8):
      microRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs required for the post-transcriptional control of gene expression. MicroRNAs play a critical role in modulating muscle regeneration and stem cell behavior. Muscle regeneration is affected in muscular dystrophies, and a critical point for the development of effective strategies for treating muscle disorders is optimizing approaches to target muscle stem cells in order to increase the ability to regenerate lost tissue. Within this framework, miRNAs are emerging as implicated in muscle stem cell response in neuromuscular disorders and new methodologies to regulate the expression of key microRNAs are coming up. In this review, we summarize recent advances highlighting the potential of miRNAs to be used in conjunction with gene replacement therapies, in order to improve muscle regeneration in the context of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).
    Keywords:  microRNA; muscle regeneration; muscular dystrophies; myogenesis; satellite cell
  15. Sci Rep. 2021 Apr 28. 11(1): 9168
      Spaceflight causes a decrease in skeletal muscle mass and strength. We set two murine experimental groups in orbit for 35 days aboard the International Space Station, under artificial earth-gravity (artificial 1 g; AG) and microgravity (μg; MG), to investigate whether artificial 1 g exposure prevents muscle atrophy at the molecular level. Our main findings indicated that AG onboard environment prevented changes under microgravity in soleus muscle not only in muscle mass and fiber type composition but also in the alteration of gene expression profiles. In particular, transcriptome analysis suggested that AG condition could prevent the alterations of some atrophy-related genes. We further screened novel candidate genes to reveal the muscle atrophy mechanism from these gene expression profiles. We suggest the potential role of Cacng1 in the atrophy of myotubes using in vitro and in vivo gene transductions. This critical project may accelerate the elucidation of muscle atrophy mechanisms.
  16. Antioxidants (Basel). 2021 Apr 03. pii: 558. [Epub ahead of print]10(4):
      Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-linked recessive progressive lethal disorder caused by the lack of dystrophin, which determines myofibers mechanical instability, oxidative stress, inflammation, and susceptibility to contraction-induced injuries. Unfortunately, at present, there is no efficient therapy for DMD. Beyond several promising gene- and stem cells-based strategies under investigation, physical activity may represent a valid noninvasive therapeutic approach to slow down the progression of the pathology. However, ethical issues, the limited number of studies in humans and the lack of consistency of the investigated training interventions generate loss of consensus regarding their efficacy, leaving exercise prescription still questionable. By an accurate analysis of data about the effects of different protocol of exercise on muscles of mdx mice, the most widely-used pre-clinical model for DMD research, we found that low intensity exercise, especially in the form of low speed treadmill running, likely represents the most suitable exercise modality associated to beneficial effects on mdx muscle. This protocol of training reduces muscle oxidative stress, inflammation, and fibrosis process, and enhances muscle functionality, muscle regeneration, and hypertrophy. These conclusions can guide the design of appropriate studies on human, thereby providing new insights to translational therapeutic application of exercise to DMD patients.
    Keywords:  ROS; antioxidants; duchenne muscular dystrophy; muscle inflammation; swimming; training; treadmill running; voluntary exercise
  17. Cell Rep. 2021 Apr 27. pii: S2211-1247(21)00362-4. [Epub ahead of print]35(4): 109046
      Skeletal muscle experiences a decline in lean mass and regenerative potential with age, in part due to intrinsic changes in progenitor cells. However, it remains unclear how age-related changes in progenitors manifest across a differentiation trajectory. Here, we perform single-cell RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) on muscle mononuclear cells from young and aged mice and profile muscle stem cells (MuSCs) and fibro-adipose progenitors (FAPs) after differentiation. Differentiation increases the magnitude of age-related change in MuSCs and FAPs, but it also masks a subset of age-related changes present in progenitors. Using a dynamical systems approach and RNA velocity, we find that aged MuSCs follow the same differentiation trajectory as young cells but stall in differentiation near a commitment decision. Our results suggest that differentiation reveals latent features of aging and that fate commitment decisions are delayed in aged myogenic cells in vitro.
    Keywords:  RNA-seq; aging; dynamical systems; fibro/adipogenic progenitor; muscle stem cell; myogenesis; single cell; stem cell
  18. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Apr 27. pii: 4577. [Epub ahead of print]22(9):
      Physical exercise improves motor control and related cognitive abilities and reinforces neuroprotective mechanisms in the nervous system. As peripheral nerves interact with skeletal muscles at the neuromuscular junction, modifications of this bidirectional communication by physical activity are positive to preserve this synapse as it increases quantal content and resistance to fatigue, acetylcholine receptors expansion, and myocytes' fast-to-slow functional transition. Here, we provide the intermediate step between physical activity and functional and morphological changes by analyzing the molecular adaptations in the skeletal muscle of the full BDNF/TrkB downstream signaling pathway, directly involved in acetylcholine release and synapse maintenance. After 45 days of training at different intensities, the BDNF/TrkB molecular phenotype of trained muscles from male B6SJLF1/J mice undergo a fast-to-slow transition without affecting motor neuron size. We provide further knowledge to understand how exercise induces muscle molecular adaptations towards a slower phenotype, resistant to prolonged trains of stimulation or activity that can be useful as therapeutic tools.
    Keywords:  BDNF/TrkB signaling; endurance exercise; neuromuscular junction; new activity conditions; skeletal muscle
  19. Genes (Basel). 2021 Apr 17. pii: 589. [Epub ahead of print]12(4):
      The development of skeletal muscle is a highly ordered and complex biological process. Increasing evidence has shown that noncoding RNAs, especially long-noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) and microRNAs, play a vital role in the development of myogenic processes. In this study, we observed that lncMyoD regulates myogenesis and changes myofiber-type composition. miR-370-3p, which is directly targeted by lncMyoD, promoted myoblast proliferation and inhibited myoblast differentiation in the C2C12 cell line, which serves as a valuable model for studying muscle development. In addition, the inhibition of miR-370-3p promoted fast-twitch fiber transition. Further analysis indicated that acyl-Coenzyme A dehydrogenase, short/branched chain (ACADSB) is a target gene of miR-370-3p, which is also involved in myoblast differentiation and fiber-type transition. Furthermore, our data suggested that miR-370-3p was sponged by lncMyoD. In contrast with miR-370-3p, lncMyoD promoted fast-twitch fiber transition. Taken together, our results suggest that miR-370-3p regulates myoblast differentiation and muscle fiber transition and is sponged by lncMyoD.
    Keywords:  ceRNA; fiber-type; lncMyoD; mir-370-3p; myogenesis
  20. J Physiol. 2021 Apr 24.
      KEY POINTS: Ageing is associated with increased systemic inflammation and metabolic dysfunction that contributes to the development of age-associated diseases. The role of adipose tissue in immunometabolic alterations that take place with ageing is unknown in humans. We show in healthy, active and lean older adults that adipose tissue-but not skeletal muscle-displays considerable pro-inflammatory transcriptomic, cellular, and secretory changes, and a reduction in insulin signalling proteins compared to younger adults. These findings indicate that adipose tissue undergoes substantial immunometabolic alterations with ageing, and that these changes are tissue-specific and more profound than those observed in skeletal muscle or in the circulation. These results identify adipose tissue as an important tissue in the biological ageing process in humans, which may exhibit signs of immunometabolic dysfunction prior to systemic manifestation.ABSTRACT: Ageing and obesity are both characterised by inflammation and a deterioration in metabolic health. It is now clear that adipose tissue plays a major role in inflammation and metabolic control in obesity, but little is known about the role of adipose tissue in human ageing. To understand how ageing impacts adipose tissue, we characterised subcutaneous adipose and skeletal muscle samples from twelve Young (27 ± 4yrs) and twelve Old (66 ± 5yrs) active/ non-obese adults. We performed a wide-range of whole-body and tissue measures, including RNA-sequencing and multi-colour flow cytometry. We also measured a range of inflammatory and metabolic proteins in the circulation and their release by adipose tissue, ex vivo. Both adipose tissue and muscle had ∼2-fold more immune cells per gram of tissue with ageing. In adipose tissue, this immune cell infiltration was driven by increased memory/ effector T-cells, whereas in muscle the accumulation was driven by memory/ effector T-cells and macrophages. Transcriptomic analysis revealed that, with ageing, adipose tissue-but not muscle-was enriched for inflammatory transcripts/ pathways related to acquired and innate immunity. Ageing also increased the adipose tissue pro-inflammatory secretory profile. Insulin signalling protein content was reduced in adipose tissue, but not muscle. Our findings indicate that adipose tissue undergoes substantial immunometabolic changes with ageing in humans, and that these changes are tissue-specific and more profound than those observed in the circulation and skeletal muscle. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  adipose tissue; aging; immunometabolism; inflammation; metabolism; skeletal muscle
  21. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Apr 10. pii: 3920. [Epub ahead of print]22(8):
      Sustained sarcolemma depolarization due to loss of the Na,K-ATPase function is characteristic for skeletal muscle motor dysfunction. Ouabain, a specific ligand of the Na,K-ATPase, has a circulating endogenous analogue. We hypothesized that the Na,K-ATPase targeted by the elevated level of circulating ouabain modulates skeletal muscle electrogenesis and prevents its disuse-induced disturbances. Isolated soleus muscles from rats intraperitoneally injected with ouabain alone or subsequently exposed to muscle disuse by 6-h hindlimb suspension (HS) were studied. Conventional electrophysiology, Western blotting, and confocal microscopy with cytochemistry were used. Acutely applied 10 nM ouabain hyperpolarized the membrane. However, a single injection of ouabain (1 µg/kg) prior HS was unable to prevent the HS-induced membrane depolarization. Chronic administration of ouabain for four days did not change the α1 and α2 Na,K-ATPase protein content, however it partially prevented the HS-induced loss of the Na,K-ATPase electrogenic activity and sarcolemma depolarization. These changes were associated with increased phosphorylation levels of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), its substrate acetyl-CoA carboxylase and p70 protein, accompanied with increased mRNA expression of interleikin-6 (IL-6) and IL-6 receptor. Considering the role of AMPK in regulation of the Na,K-ATPase, we suggest an IL-6/AMPK contribution to prevent the effects of chronic ouabain under skeletal muscle disuse.
    Keywords:  AMP-activated protein kinase; Na,K-ATPase isozymes; hindlimb suspension; ouabain; resting membrane potential; skeletal muscle
  22. Microrna. 2021 Apr 25.
      BACKGROUND: Physical exercise can improve synaptic function and protect the nervous system against many diseases by altering gene regulation. MicroRNAs (miRs) have emerged as vital regulators of gene expression and protein synthesis not only in the muscular system, but also in the brain.OBJECTIVE: Here we investigated whether exercise-induced miRs expression in the nervous and muscular systems is activity-dependent or it remain regulated even after exercise cessation.
    METHODS: The expression profile of miR-1, -16, and -206 was monitored by RT-PCR in the dorsal root ganglion, in the spinal cord dorsal and ventral horn, and in the soleus muscle of mice after 5 weeks of swimming training and after swimming exercise followed by 4 weeks of sedentary conditions. Control animals consisted of mice that swan daily for 30s during the 5-weeks training period, returning to the non-swimming activity for additional 4 weeks.
    RESULTS: After exercise, miR-1 was upregulated in all tissues investigated. However, the upregulation of miR-1 continued significantly high in both aspects of the spinal cord, and in the soleus muscle. The expression profiles of miR-16, and -206 were increased only in the nervous system. However, miR-16 upregulation persisted in the DRG and in the spinal cord after exercise interruption, whereas miR-206 continued upregulated only in the spinal cord ventral horn.
    CONCLUSION: Exercise training can cause long-lasting changes in the expression of miRs independently of exercise maintenance. Spatial and temporal expression of miRs is to some extent dependent on this activity. The data raised a new conceptual hypothesis on the biogenesis of miRs indicating that long-lasting and systematic exercise can potentially cause irreversible miR regulation after activity cessation.
    Keywords:  dorsal root ganglion.; exercise; microRNA; nervous system; physical training; skeletal muscle; spinal cord
  23. Antioxidants (Basel). 2021 Apr 11. pii: 588. [Epub ahead of print]10(4):
      Skeletal muscle is the most abundant tissue in the body and is required for numerous vital functions, including breathing and locomotion. Notably, deterioration of skeletal muscle mass is also highly correlated to mortality in patients suffering from chronic diseases (e.g., cancer). Numerous conditions can promote skeletal muscle wasting, including several chronic diseases, cancer chemotherapy, aging, and prolonged inactivity. Although the mechanisms responsible for this loss of muscle mass is multifactorial, mitochondrial dysfunction is predicted to be a major contributor to muscle wasting in various conditions. This systematic review will highlight the biochemical pathways that have been shown to link mitochondrial dysfunction to skeletal muscle wasting. Importantly, we will discuss the experimental evidence that connects mitochondrial dysfunction to muscle wasting in specific diseases (i.e., cancer and sepsis), aging, cancer chemotherapy, and prolonged muscle inactivity (e.g., limb immobilization). Finally, in hopes of stimulating future research, we conclude with a discussion of important future directions for research in the field of muscle wasting.
    Keywords:  calpain; muscle atrophy; oxidative stress; protein synthesis; proteolysis; reactive oxygen species
  24. Geroscience. 2021 Apr 24.
      Pathological age-related loss of skeletal muscle strength and mass contribute to impaired physical function in older adults. Factors that promote the development of these conditions remain incompletely understood, impeding development of effective and specific diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. Inconclusive evidence across species suggests disruption of action potential signal transmission at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ), the crucial connection between the nervous and muscular systems, as a possible contributor to age-related muscle dysfunction. Here we investigated age-related loss of NMJ function using clinically relevant, electrophysiological measures (single-fiber electromyography (SFEMG) and repetitive nerve stimulation (RNS)) in aged (26 months) versus young (6 months) F344 rats. Measures of muscle function (e.g., grip strength, peak plantarflexion contractility torque) and mass were assessed for correlations with physiological measures (e.g., indices of NMJ transmission). Other outcomes also included plantarflexion muscle contractility tetanic torque fade during 1-s trains of stimulation as well as gastrocnemius motor unit size and number. Profiling NMJ function in aged rats identified significant declines in NMJ transmission stability and reliability. Further, NMJ deficits were tightly correlated with hindlimb grip strength, gastrocnemius muscle weight, loss of peak contractility torque, degree of tetanic fade, and motor unit loss. Thus, these findings provide direct evidence for NMJ dysfunction as a potential mechanism of age-related muscle dysfunction pathogenesis and severity. These findings also suggest that NMJ transmission modulation may serve as a target for therapeutic development for age-related loss of physical function.
    Keywords:  Aging; Dynapenia; Grip strength; Neuromuscular junction; Sarcopenia; Synapse; Weakness
  25. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Apr 19. pii: 4205. [Epub ahead of print]22(8):
      (1) Background: Aging is associated with a progressive decline in muscle mass and function. Aging is also a primary risk factor for metabolic syndrome, which further alters muscle metabolism. However, the molecular mechanisms involved remain to be clarified. Herein we performed omic profiling to decipher in muscle which dominating processes are associated with healthy aging and metabolic syndrome in old men. (2) Methods: This study included 15 healthy young, 15 healthy old, and 9 old men with metabolic syndrome. Old men were selected from a well-characterized cohort, and each vastus lateralis biopsy was used to combine global transcriptomic and proteomic analyses. (3) Results: Over-representation analysis of differentially expressed genes (ORA) and functional class scoring of pathways (FCS) indicated that healthy aging was mainly associated with upregulations of apoptosis and immune function and downregulations of glycolysis and protein catabolism. ORA and FCS indicated that with metabolic syndrome the dominating biological processes were upregulation of proteolysis and downregulation of oxidative phosphorylation. Proteomic profiling matched 586 muscle proteins between individuals. The proteome of healthy aging revealed modifications consistent with a fast-to-slow transition and downregulation of glycolysis. These transitions were reduced with metabolic syndrome, which was more associated with alterations in NADH/NAD+ shuttle and β-oxidation. Proteomic profiling further showed that all old muscles overexpressed protein chaperones to preserve proteostasis and myofiber integrity. There was also evidence of aging-related increases in reactive oxygen species but better detoxifications of cytotoxic aldehydes and membrane protection in healthy than in metabolic syndrome muscles. (4) Conclusions: Most candidate proteins and mRNAs identified herein constitute putative muscle biomarkers of healthy aging and metabolic syndrome in old men.
    Keywords:  aging; metabolic syndrome; proteome; sarcopenia; skeletal muscle; transcriptome
  26. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Apr 23. pii: 4407. [Epub ahead of print]22(9):
      Weak electromagnetic fields (WEF) alter Ca2+ handling in skeletal muscle myotubes. Owing to the involvement of Ca2+ in muscle development, we investigated whether WEF affects fusion of myoblasts in culture. Rat primary myoblast cultures were exposed to WEF (1.75 µT, 16 Hz) for up to six days. Under control conditions, cell fusion and creatine kinase (CK) activity increased in parallel and peaked at 4-6 days. WEF enhanced the extent of fusion after one and two days (by ~40%) vs. control, but not thereafter. Exposure to WEF also enhanced CK activity after two days (almost four-fold), but not afterwards. Incorporation of 3H-thymidine into DNA was enhanced by one-day exposure to WEF (~40%), indicating increased cell replication. Using the potentiometric fluorescent dye di-8-ANEPPS, we found that exposure of cells to 150 mM KCl resulted in depolarization of the cell membrane. However, prior exposure of cells to WEF for one day followed by addition of KCl resulted in hyperpolarization of the cell membrane. Acute exposure of cells to WEF also resulted in hyperpolarization of the cell membrane. Twenty-four hour incubation of myoblasts with gambogic acid, an inhibitor of the inward rectifying K+ channel 2.1 (Kir2.1), did not affect cell fusion, WEF-mediated acceleration of fusion or hyperpolarization. These data demonstrate that WEF accelerates fusion of myoblasts, resulting in myotube formation. The WEF effect is associated with hyperpolarization but WEF does not appear to mediate its effects on fusion by activating Kir2.1 channels.
    Keywords:  creatine kinase; differentiation; fusion; myoblasts; myotubes; weak electromagnetic fields
  27. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Apr 25. pii: 4469. [Epub ahead of print]22(9):
      Increased visceral adiposity may influence the development of prostate cancer (PCa) aggressive tumors and cancer mortality. White adipose tissue (WAT), usually referred to as periprostatic adipose tissue (PPAT), surrounds the prostatic gland and has emerged as a potential mediator of the tumor microenvironment. Exercise training (ET) induces several adaptations in both skeletal muscle and WAT. Some of these effects are mediated by ET-induced synthesis and secretion of several proteins, known as myo- and adipokines. Together, myokines and adipokines may act in an endocrine-like manner to favor communication between skeletal muscle and WAT, as they may work together to improve whole-body metabolic health. This crosstalk may constitute a potential mechanism by which ET exerts its beneficial role in the prevention and treatment of PCa-related disorders; however, this has not yet been explored. Therefore, we reviewed the current evidence on the effects of skeletal muscle-WAT-tumor crosstalk in PCa, and the potential mediators of this process to provide a better understanding of underlying ET-related mechanisms in cancer.
    Keywords:  cancer; periprostatic fat; physical activity; skeletal muscle; tumor microenvironment; visceral adiposity
  28. Life Sci. 2021 Apr 27. pii: S0024-3205(21)00549-X. [Epub ahead of print] 119563
      Aim There is growing evidence about the ability of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) signaling and nonselective phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors on mitigate muscle atrophy. PDE4 accounts for the major cAMP hydrolyzing activity in skeletal muscles, therefore advances are necessary about the consequences of treatment with PDE4 inhibitors on protein breakdown in atrophied muscles. We postulated that rolipram (selective PDE4 inhibitor) may activate cAMP downstream effectors, inhibiting proteolytic systems in skeletal muscles of diabetic rats.MAIN METHODS: Streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats were treated with 2 mg/kg rolipram for 3 days. Changes in the levels of components belonging to the proteolytic machineries in soleus and extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscles were investigated, as well as cAMP effectors.
    KEY FINDINGS: Treatment of diabetic rats with rolipram decreased the levels of atrogin-1 and MuRF-1 in soleus and EDL, and reduced the activities of calpains and caspase-3; these findings partially explains the low ubiquitin conjugates levels and the decreased proteasome activity. The inhibition of muscle proteolysis may be occurring due to phosphorylation and inhibition of forkhead box O (FoxO) factors, probably as a consequence of the increased cAMP levels, followed by the activation of PKA and Akt effectors. Akt activation may be associated with the increased levels of exchange protein directly activated by cAMP (EPAC). As a result, rolipram treatment spared muscle mass in diabetic rats.
    SIGNIFICANCE: The antiproteolytic responses associated with PDE4 inhibition may be helpful to motivate future investigations about the repositioning of PDE4 inhibitors for the treatment of muscle wasting conditions.
    Keywords:  Diabetes mellitus; Proteolysis; Rolipram; Skeletal muscle; Ubiquitin-proteasome system
  29. J Clin Med. 2021 Apr 26. pii: 1874. [Epub ahead of print]10(9):
      Sepsis survivors experience a persistent myopathy characterized by skeletal muscle weakness, atrophy, and an inability to repair/regenerate damaged or dysfunctional myofibers. The origins and mechanisms of this persistent sepsis-induced myopathy are likely complex and multifactorial. Nevertheless, the pathobiology is thought to be triggered by the interaction between circulating pathogens and impaired muscle metabolic status. In addition, while in the hospital, septic patients often experience prolonged periods of physical inactivity due to bed rest, which may exacerbate the myopathy. Physical rehabilitation emerges as a potential tool to prevent the decline in physical function in septic patients. Currently, there is no consensus regarding effective rehabilitation strategies for sepsis-induced myopathy. The optimal timing to initiate the rehabilitation intervention currently lacks consensus as well. In this review, we summarize the evidence on the fundamental pathobiological mechanisms of sepsis-induced myopathy and discuss the recent evidence on in-hospital and post-discharge rehabilitation as well as other potential interventions that may prevent physical disability and death of sepsis survivors.
    Keywords:  acute muscle wasting; myopathy; sepsis
  30. Biophys Rev. 2021 Apr;13(2): 203-219
      Among the four proteolytic systems in the cell, autophagy and the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) are the main proteolytic events that allow for the removal of cell debris and proteins to maintain cellular homeostasis. Previous studies have revealed that these systems perform their functions independently of each other. However, recent studies indicate the existence of regulatory interactions between these proteolytic systems via ubiquitinated tags and a reciprocal regulation mechanism with several crosstalk points. UPS plays an important role in the elimination of short-lived/soluble misfolded proteins, whereas autophagy eliminates defective organelles and persistent insoluble protein aggregates. Both of these systems seem to act independently; however, disruption of one pathway affects the activity of the other pathway and contributes to different pathological conditions. This review summarizes the recent findings on direct and indirect dependencies of autophagy and UPS and their execution at the molecular level along with the important drug targets in skeletal muscle atrophy.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; Mitophagy; Molecular mechanism; Skeletal muscle atrophy; The ubiquitin-proteasome system
  31. Front Physiol. 2021 ;12 628819
      During muscle contraction, chemical energy is converted to mechanical energy when ATP is hydrolysed during cross-bridge cycling. This mechanical energy is then distributed and stored in the tissue as the muscle deforms or is used to perform external work. We previously showed how energy is distributed through contracting muscle during fixed-end contractions; however, it is not clear how the distribution of tissue energy is altered by the kinetic energy of muscle mass during dynamic contractions. In this study we conducted simulations of a 3D continuum muscle model that accounts for tissue mass, as well as force-velocity effects, in which the muscle underwent sinusoidal work-loop contractions coupled with bursts of excitation. We found that increasing muscle size, and therefore mass, increased the kinetic energy per unit volume of the muscle. In addition to greater relative kinetic energy per cycle, relatively more energy was also stored in the aponeurosis, and less was stored in the base material, which represented the intra and extracellular tissue components apart from the myofibrils. These energy changes in larger muscles due to greater mass were associated lower mass-specific mechanical work output per cycle, and this reduction in mass-specific work was greatest for smaller initial pennation angles. When we compared the effects of mass on the model tissue behaviour to that of in situ muscle with added mass during comparable work-loop trials, we found that greater mass led to lower maximum and higher minimum acceleration in the longitudinal (x) direction near the middle of the muscle compared to at the non-fixed end, which indicates that greater mass contributes to tissue non-uniformity in whole muscle. These comparable results for the simulated and in situ muscle also show that this modelling framework behaves in ways that are consistent with experimental muscle. Overall, the results of this study highlight that muscle mass is an important determinant of whole muscle behaviour.
    Keywords:  cyclic contractions; finite element method; inertia; muscle mass; muscle mechanics; skeletal muscle
  32. Physiol Rep. 2021 Apr;9(8): e14791
      Neuromuscular junction (NMJ) research is vital to advance the understanding of neuromuscular patho-physiology and development of novel therapies for diseases associated with NM dysfunction. In vivo, the micro-environment surrounding the NMJ has a significant impact on NMJ formation and maintenance via neurotrophic and differentiation factors that are secreted as a result of cross-talk between muscle fibers and motor neurons. Recently we showed the formation of functional NMJs in vitro in a co-culture of immortalized human myoblasts and motor neurons from rat-embryo spinal-cord explants, using a culture medium free from serum and neurotrophic or growth factors. The aim of this study was to assess how functional NMJs were established in this co-culture devoid of exogenous neural growth factors. To investigate this, an ELISA-based microarray was used to compare the composition of soluble endogenously secreted growth factors in this co-culture with an a-neural muscle culture. The levels of seven neurotrophic factors brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), glial-cell-line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3), insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), neurotrophin-4 (NT-4), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) were higher (p < 0.05) in the supernatant of NMJ culture compared to those in the supernatant of the a-neural muscle culture. This indicates that the cross-talk between muscle and motor neurons promotes the secretion of soluble growth factors contributing to the local microenvironment thereby providing a favourable regenerative niche for NMJs formation and maturation.
    Keywords:  cross-talk; motor neurons; muscle; neural growth factors; neuromuscular junction (NMJ)
  33. BMC Geriatr. 2021 Apr 26. 21(1): 276
      BACKGROUND: The risk of progressive declines in skeletal muscle mass and strength, termed sarcopenia, increases with age, physical inactivity and poor diet. The purpose of this study was to explore and compare associations of sarcopenia components with self-reported physical activity and nutrition in older adults participating in resistance training at Helsinki University Research [HUR] and conventional gyms for over a year, once a week, on average.METHODS: The study looked at differences between HUR (n = 3) and conventional (n = 1) gyms. Muscle strength (via handgrip strength and chair stands), appendicular lean mass (ALM; via dual energy X-ray absorptiometry) and physical performance (via gait speed over a 4-m distance, short physical performance battery, timed up and go and 400-m walk tests) were evaluated in 80 community-dwelling older adults (mean ± SD 76.5 ± 6.5 years). Pearson correlations explored associations for sarcopenia components with self-reported physical activity (via Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly [PASE]) and nutrition (via Australian Eating Survey).
    RESULTS: No differences in PASE and the Australian Recommended Food Score (ARFS) were observed between HUR and conventional gyms, however HUR gym participants had a significantly higher self-reported protein intake (108 ± 39 g vs 88 ± 27 g; p = 0.029) and a trend to have higher energy intake (9698 ± 3006 kJ vs 8266 ± 2904 kJ; p = 0.055). In both gym groups, gait speed was positively associated with self-reported physical activity (r = 0.275; p = 0.039 and r = 0.423; p = 0.044 for HUR and conventional gyms, respectively). ALM was positively associated with protein (p = 0.047, r = 0.418) and energy (p = 0.038, r = 0.435) intake in the conventional gym group. Similar associations were observed for ALM/h2 in the HUR group. None of the sarcopenia components were associated with ARFS in either gym group.
    CONCLUSION: Older adults attending HUR and conventional gyms had similar self-reported function and nutrition (but not protein intake). Inadequate physical activity was associated with low gait speed and inadequate nutrition and low protein ingestion associated with low lean mas, even in older adults participating in exercise programs. Optimal physical activity and nutrition are important for maintaining muscle mass and function in older adults.
    Keywords:  Helsinki University research; Nutrition; Older adults; Resistance training; Sarcopenia
  34. Sci Adv. 2021 Apr;pii: eabg4910. [Epub ahead of print]7(18):
      Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a fatal muscle disease caused by the lack of dystrophin, which maintains muscle membrane integrity. We used an adenine base editor (ABE) to modify splice donor sites of the dystrophin gene, causing skipping of a common DMD deletion mutation of exon 51 (∆Ex51) in cardiomyocytes derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells, restoring dystrophin expression. Prime editing was also capable of reframing the dystrophin open reading frame in these cardiomyocytes. Intramuscular injection of ∆Ex51 mice with adeno-associated virus serotype-9 encoding ABE components as a split-intein trans-splicing system allowed gene editing and disease correction in vivo. Our findings demonstrate the effectiveness of nucleotide editing for the correction of diverse DMD mutations with minimal modification of the genome, although improved delivery methods will be required before these strategies can be used to sufficiently edit the genome in patients with DMD.
  35. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Apr 20. pii: 4256. [Epub ahead of print]22(8):
      Intermediate filaments are major components of the cytoskeleton. Desmin and synemin, cytoplasmic intermediate filament proteins and A-type lamins, nuclear intermediate filament proteins, play key roles in skeletal and cardiac muscle. Desmin, encoded by the DES gene (OMIM *125660) and A-type lamins by the LMNA gene (OMIM *150330), have been involved in striated muscle disorders. Diseases include desmin-related myopathy and cardiomyopathy (desminopathy), which can be manifested with dilated, restrictive, hypertrophic, arrhythmogenic, or even left ventricular non-compaction cardiomyopathy, Emery-Dreifuss Muscular Dystrophy (EDMD2 and EDMD3, due to LMNA mutations), LMNA-related congenital Muscular Dystrophy (L-CMD) and LMNA-linked dilated cardiomyopathy with conduction system defects (CMD1A). Recently, mutations in synemin (SYNM gene, OMIM *606087) have been linked to cardiomyopathy. This review will summarize clinical and molecular aspects of desmin-, lamin- and synemin-related striated muscle disorders with focus on LMNA and DES-associated clinical entities and will suggest pathogenetic hypotheses based on the interplay of desmin and lamin A/C. In healthy muscle, such interplay is responsible for the involvement of this network in mechanosignaling, nuclear positioning and mitochondrial homeostasis, while in disease it is disturbed, leading to myocyte death and activation of inflammation and the associated secretome alterations.
    Keywords:  cardiomyopathy; desmin; desminopathy; lamin A/C; mechanosignaling; muscular laminopathies; nuclear positioning; secretome; synemin
  36. J Physiol. 2021 Apr 29.
      KEY POINTS: Ribosome biogenesis and MYC transcription are associated with acute resistance exercise (RE) and are distinct from endurance exercise (EE) in human skeletal muscle throughout a 24-hour time-course of recovery. A PCR-based method for relative ribosomal DNA (rDNA) copy number estimation was validated by whole genome sequencing and revealed that rDNA dosage is positively correlated with ribosome biogenesis in response to RE. Acute RE modifies rDNA methylation patterns in enhancer, intergenic spacer, and non-canonical MYC-associated regions, but not the promoter. Myonuclear-specific rDNA methylation patterns with acute mechanical overload in mice corroborate and expand on rDNA findings with RE in humans. A genetic predisposition for hypertrophic responsiveness may exist based on rDNA gene dosage.ABSTRACT: Ribosomes are the macromolecular engines of protein synthesis. Skeletal muscle ribosome biogenesis is stimulated by exercise, but the contribution of ribosomal DNA (rDNA) copy number and methylation to exercise-induced rDNA transcription is unclear. To investigate the genetic and epigenetic regulation of ribosome biogenesis with exercise, a time-course of skeletal muscle biopsies was obtained from 30 participants (18 men and 12 women; 31±8 yrs, 25±4 kg/m2 ) at rest and 30 min, 3h, 8h, and 24h after acute endurance (n = 10, 45 min cycling, 70% VO2 max) or resistance exercise (n = 10, 4×7×2 exercises); 10 control participants underwent biopsies without exercise. rDNA transcription and dosage were assessed using qPCR and whole genome sequencing. rDNA promoter methylation was investigated using massARRAY EpiTYPER, and global rDNA CpG methylation was assessed using reduced-representation bisulfite sequencing. Ribosome biogenesis and MYC transcription were associated primarily with resistance but not endurance exercise, indicating preferential upregulation during hypertrophic processes. With resistance exercise, ribosome biogenesis was associated with rDNA gene dosage as well as epigenetic changes in enhancer and non-canonical MYC-associated areas in rDNA, but not the promoter. A mouse model of in vivo metabolic RNA labeling and genetic myonuclear fluorescent labeling validated the effects of an acute hypertrophic stimulus on ribosome biogenesis and Myc transcription, and corroborated rDNA enhancer and Myc-associated methylation alterations specifically in myonuclei. This study provides the first information on skeletal muscle genetic and rDNA gene-wide epigenetic regulation of ribosome biogenesis in response to exercise, revealing novel roles for rDNA dosage and CpG methylation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  CpG methylation; Myc; enhancer; intergenic spacer; rDNA; rDNA copy number
  37. Biomater Sci. 2021 Apr 26.
      Skeletal muscle is characterized by its three-dimensional (3D) anisotropic architecture composed of highly aligned and electrically-excitable muscle fibers that enable normal movement. Biomaterial-based tissue engineering approaches to repair skeletal muscle are limited due to difficulties combining 3D structural alignment (to guide cell/matrix organization) and electrical conductivity (to enable electrically-excitable myotube assembly and maturation). In this work we successfully produced aligned and electrically conductive 3D collagen scaffolds using a freeze-drying approach. Conductive polypyrrole (PPy) nanoparticles were synthesized and directly mixed into a suspension of type I collagen and chondroitin sulfate followed by directional lyophilization. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy-dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), and confocal microscopy showed that directional solidification resulted in scaffolds with longitudinally aligned pores with homogeneously-distributed PPy content. Chronopotentiometry verified that PPy incorporation resulted in a five-fold increase in conductivity compared to non-PPy-containing collagen scaffolds without detrimentally affecting myoblast metabolic activity. Furthermore, the aligned scaffold microstructure provided contact guidance cues that directed myoblast growth and organization. Incorporation of PPy also promoted enhanced myotube formation and maturation as measured by myosin heavy chain (MHC) expression and number of nuclei per myotube. Together these data suggest that aligned and electrically conductive 3D collagen scaffolds could be useful for skeletal muscle tissue engineering.
  38. Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2021 Apr 25. 15353702211009213
      Cancer-induced muscle wasting, i.e. cachexia, is associated with different types of cancer such as pancreatic, colorectal, lung, liver, gastric and esophageal. Cachexia affects prognosis and survival in cancer, and it is estimated that it will be the ultimate cause of death for up to 30% of cancer patients. Musculoskeletal alterations are known hallmarks of cancer cachexia, with skeletal muscle atrophy and weakness as the most studied. Recent evidence has shed light on the presence of bone loss in cachectic patients, even in the absence of bone-metastatic disease. In particular, we and others have shown that muscle and bone communicate by exchanging paracrine and endocrine factors, known as myokines and osteokines. This review will focus on describing the role of the most studied myokines, such as myostatin, irisin, the muscle metabolite β-aminoisobutyric acid, BAIBA, and IL-6, and osteokines, including TGF-β, osteocalcin, sclerostin, RANKL, PTHrP, FGF23, and the lipid mediator, PGE2 during cancer-induced cachexia. The interplay of muscle and bone factors, together with tumor-derived soluble factors, characterizes a complex clinical scenario in which musculoskeletal alterations are amongst the most debilitating features. Understanding and targeting the "secretome" of cachectic patients will likely represent a promising strategy to preserve bone and muscle during cancer cachexia thereby enhancing recovery.
    Keywords:  Muscle; bone; cachexia; cancer; myokines; osteokines
  39. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2021 Apr 29.
      Motor unit (MU) firing rate (FR) frequency is lower in aged adults, compared with young, at relative voluntary contraction intensities. However, from a variety of independent studies of disparate muscles, the age-related degree of difference in FR among muscles is unclear. Using a standardized statistical approach with data derived from primary studies, we quantified differences in FRs across several muscles between younger and older adults. The dataset included 12 different muscles in young (18-35) and older adults (62-93 years) from 18 published and one unpublished study. Experiments recorded single MU activity from intramuscular electromyography during constant isometric contraction at different (step-like) voluntary intensities. For each muscle, FR ranges and FR variance explained by voluntary contraction intensity were determined using bootstrapping. Dissimilarity of FR variance among muscles was calculated by Euclidean distances. There were 3-fold differences in the absolute frequency of FR ranges across muscles in the young (soleus 8-16 and superior trapezius 20-49 Hz), but in the old, FR ranges were more similar and lower for 9 out of 12 muscles. In contrast, the explained FR variance from voluntary contraction intensity in the older group had 1.6-fold greater dissimilarity among muscles than the young (p < 0.001), with FR variance differences being muscle dependent. Therefore, differences between muscle FR ranges were not explained by how FRs scale to changes in voluntary contraction intensity within each muscle. Instead, FRs were muscle dependent but were more dissimilar among muscles in the older group in their responsiveness to voluntary contraction intensity.
    Keywords:  electromyography; intramuscular; neuromuscular; skeletal muscle; voluntary contraction
  40. Transl Oncol. 2021 Apr 26. pii: S1936-5233(21)00093-0. [Epub ahead of print]14(7): 101101
      Cachexia is a multifactorial syndrome characterized by skeletal muscle loss, with or without adipose atrophy, irreversible through nutritional support, in the context of systemic inflammation and metabolic disorders. It is mediated by inflammatory reaction and affects almost 50% of all cancer patients, due to prominent systemic inflammation associated with the disease. The comprehension of the molecular mechanisms that are implicated in cancer cachexia sheds light on its pathogenesis and lays the foundations for the discovery of new therapeutic targets and biomarkers. Recently, ncRNAs, like microRNAs as well as lncRNAs and circRNAs seem to regulate pathways that are implicated in cancer cachexia pathogenesis, as it has been observed in animal models and in cancer cachexia patients, highlighting their therapeutic potential. Moreover, increasing evidence highlights the involvement of circulating and exosomal ncRNAs in the activation and maintenance of systemic inflammation in cancer and cancer-associated cachexia. In that context, the present review focuses on the clinical significance of ncRNAs in cancer-associated cachexia.
    Keywords:  Cachexia; Cancer; Circulating RNAs; lncRNAs; miRNAs; ncRNAs
  41. Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2021 Apr 22.
      ABSTRACT: This review explores the hypothesis that the repetitive contraction-relaxation that occurs during chronic exercise activates skeletal myocyte Nrf2 to upregulate antioxidant enzymes. These proteins are secreted into the circulation within extracellular vesicles and taken up by remote cells thus providing remote organs with cytoprotection against subsequent oxidative stress.
  42. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Apr 28. pii: 4680. [Epub ahead of print]22(9):
      Obesity is a chronic, complex pathology associated with a risk of developing secondary pathologies, including cardiovascular diseases, cancer, type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and musculoskeletal disorders. Since skeletal muscle accounts for more than 70% of total glucose disposal, metabolic alterations are strictly associated with the onset of insulin resistance and T2DM. The present study relies on the proteomic analysis of gastrocnemius muscle from 15 male and 15 female C56BL/J mice fed for 14 weeks with standard, 45% or 60% high-fat diets (HFD) adopting a label-free LC-MS/MS approach followed by bioinformatic pathway analysis. Results indicate changes in males due to HFD, with increased muscular stiffness (Col1a1, Col1a2, Actb), fiber-type switch from slow/oxidative to fast/glycolytic (decreased Myh7, Myl2, Myl3 and increased Myh2, Mylpf, Mybpc2, Myl1), increased oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction (decreased respiratory chain complex I and V and increased complex III subunits). At variance, females show few alterations and activation of compensatory mechanisms to counteract the increase of fatty acids. Bioinformatics analysis allows identifying upstream molecules involved in regulating pathways identified at variance in our analysis (Ppargc1a, Pparg, Cpt1b, Clpp, Tp53, Kdm5a, Hif1a). These findings underline the presence of a gender-specific response to be considered when approaching obesity and related comorbidities.
    Keywords:  insulin resistance; obesity; proteomics; sarcopenia; skeletal muscle
  43. Medicina (Kaunas). 2021 Apr 12. pii: 372. [Epub ahead of print]57(4):
      Both laboratory investigations and body composition quantification measures (e.g., computed tomography, CT) portray muscle loss in symptomatic Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. Muscle loss is associated with a poor prognosis of the disease. The exact mechanism of muscle damage in COVID-19 patients, as well as the long-term consequences of muscle injury in disease survivors, are unclear. The current review briefly summarizes the literature for mechanisms, assessment measures, and interventions relevant to skeletal muscle insult in COVID-19 patients. Muscle injury is likely to be attributed to the cytokine storm, disease severity, malnutrition, prolonged physical inactivity during intensive care unit (ICU) stays, mechanical ventilation, and myotoxic drugs (e.g., dexamethasone). It has been assessed by imaging and non-imaging techniques (e.g., CT and electromyography), physical performance tests (e.g., six-minute walk test), anthropometric measures (e.g., calf circumference), and biomarkers of muscle dystrophy (e.g., creatine kinase). Interventions directed toward minimizing muscle loss among COVID-19 patients are lacking. However, limited evidence shows that respiratory rehabilitation improves respiratory function, muscle strength, quality of life, and anxiety symptoms in recovering older COVID-19 patients. Neuromuscular electrical stimulation may restore muscle condition in ICU-admitted patients, albeit empirical evidence is needed. Given the contribution of malnutrition to disease severity and muscle damage, providing proper nutritional management for emaciated patients may be one of the key issues to achieve a better prognosis and prevent the after-effects of the disease. Considerable attention to longer-term consequences of muscle injury in recovering COVID-19 patients is necessary.
    Keywords:  COVID-19; aging; coronavirus disease 2019; cytokine storm; intensive care unit-acquired weakness; malnutrition; musculoskeletal; myoglobin; older adults; rhabdomyolysis; severity; skeletal muscle
  44. Cancers (Basel). 2021 Apr 20. pii: 1975. [Epub ahead of print]13(8):
      The vast majority of patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) suffer cachexia. Although cachexia results from concurrent loss of adipose and muscle tissue, most studies focus on muscle alone. Emerging data demonstrate the prognostic value of fat loss in cachexia. Here we sought to identify the muscle and adipose gene profiles and pathways regulated in cachexia. Matched rectus abdominis muscle and subcutaneous adipose tissue were obtained at surgery from patients with benign conditions (n = 11) and patients with PDAC (n = 24). Self-reported weight loss and body composition measurements defined cachexia status. Gene profiling was done using ion proton sequencing. Results were queried against external datasets for validation. 961 DE genes were identified from muscle and 2000 from adipose tissue, demonstrating greater response of adipose than muscle. In addition to known cachexia genes such as FOXO1, novel genes from muscle, including PPP1R8 and AEN correlated with cancer weight loss. All the adipose correlated genes including SCGN and EDR17 are novel for PDAC cachexia. Pathway analysis demonstrated shared pathways but largely non-overlapping genes in both tissues. Age related muscle loss predominantly had a distinct gene profiles compared to cachexia. This analysis of matched, externally validate gene expression points to novel targets in cachexia.
    Keywords:  RNAseq; adipose; atrophy; cachexia; gene expression; neoplasia; pancreatic cancer; pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma; skeletal muscle
  45. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Apr 05. pii: 3769. [Epub ahead of print]22(7):
      Pax3 and Pax7 are members of the Pax gene family which are essential for embryo and organ development. Both genes have been proved to be markers of muscle satellite cells and play key roles in the process of muscle growth and repair. Here, we identified two Pax3 genes (SsPax3a and SsPax3b) and two Pax7 genes (SsPax7a and SsPax7b) in a marine teleost, black rockfish (Sebastes schlegelii). Our results showed SsPax3 and SsPax7 marked distinct populations of muscle satellite cells, which originated from the multi-cell stage and somite stage, respectively. In addition, we constructed a muscle injury model to explore the function of these four genes during muscle repair. Hematoxylin-eosin (H-E) of injured muscle sections showed new-formed myofibers occurred at 16 days post-injury (dpi). ISH (in situ hybridization) analysis demonstrated that the expression level of SsPax3a and two SsPax7 genes increased gradually during 0-16 dpi and peaked at 16 dpi. Interestingly, SsPax3b showed no significant differences during the injury repair process, indicating that the satellite cells labeled by SsPax3b were not involved in muscle repair. These results imply that the muscle stem cell populations in teleosts are more complicated than in mammals. This lays the foundation for future studies on the molecular mechanism of indeterminant growth and muscle repair of large fish species.
    Keywords:  Pax3; Pax7; Sebastes schlegelii; muscle repair; muscle satellite cell