bims-moremu Biomed News
on Molecular regulators of muscle mass
Issue of 2021‒11‒07
forty-three papers selected by
Anna Vainshtein
Craft Science Inc.

  1. J Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle. 2021 Nov 06.
      BACKGROUND: Cancer-related muscle wasting occurs in most cancer patients. An important regulator of adult muscle mass and function is the Akt-mTORC1 pathway. While Akt-mTORC1 signalling is important for adult muscle homeostasis, it is also a major target of numerous cancer treatments. Which role Akt-mTORC1 signalling plays during cancer cachexia in muscle is currently not known. Here, we aimed to determine how activation or inactivation of the pathway affects skeletal muscle during cancer cachexia.METHODS: We used inducible, muscle-specific Raptor ko (mTORC1) mice to determine the effect of reduced mTOR signalling during cancer cachexia. On the contrary, in order to understand if skeletal muscles maintain their anabolic capacity and if activation of Akt-mTORC1 signalling can reverse cancer cachexia, we generated mice in which we can inducibly activate Akt specifically in skeletal muscles.
    RESULTS: We found that mTORC1 signalling is impaired during cancer cachexia, using the Lewis lung carcinoma and C26 colon cancer model, and is accompanied by a reduction in protein synthesis rates of 57% (P < 0.01). Further reduction of mTOR signalling, as seen in Raptor ko animals, leads to a 1.5-fold increase in autophagic flux (P > 0.001), but does not further increase muscle wasting. On the other hand, activation of Akt-mTORC1 signalling in already cachectic animals completely reverses the 15-20% loss in muscle mass and force (P < 0.001). Interestingly, Akt activation only in skeletal muscle completely normalizes the transcriptional deregulation observed in cachectic muscle, despite having no effect on tumour size or spleen mass. In addition to stimulating muscle growth, it is also sufficient to prevent the increase in protein degradation normally observed in muscles from tumour-bearing animals.
    CONCLUSIONS: Here, we show that activation of Akt-mTORC1 signalling is sufficient to completely revert cancer-dependent muscle wasting. Intriguingly, these results show that skeletal muscle maintains its anabolic capacities also during cancer cachexia, possibly giving a rationale behind some of the beneficial effects observed in exercise in cancer patients.
    Keywords:  Akt; Cancer cachexia; Muscle growth; Raptor; Skeletal muscle force; mTOR
  2. FASEB J. 2021 Dec;35(12): e22010
      The hypoxia-inducible nuclear-encoded mitochondrial protein NADH dehydrogenase (ubiquinone) 1 alpha subcomplex, 4-like 2 (NDUFA4L2) has been demonstrated to decrease oxidative phosphorylation and production of reactive oxygen species in neonatal cardiomyocytes, brain tissue and hypoxic domains of cancer cells. Prolonged local hypoxia can negatively affect skeletal muscle size and tissue oxidative capacity. Although skeletal muscle is a mitochondrial rich, oxygen sensitive tissue, the role of NDUFA4L2 in skeletal muscle has not previously been investigated. Here we ectopically expressed NDUFA4L2 in mouse skeletal muscles using adenovirus-mediated expression and in vivo electroporation. Moreover, femoral artery ligation (FAL) was used as a model of peripheral vascular disease to induce hind limb ischemia and muscle damage. Ectopic NDUFA4L2 expression resulted in reduced mitochondrial respiration and reactive oxygen species followed by lowered AMP, ADP, ATP, and NAD+ levels without affecting the overall protein content of the mitochondrial electron transport chain. Furthermore, ectopically expressed NDUFA4L2 caused a ~20% reduction in muscle mass that resulted in weaker muscles. The loss of muscle mass was associated with increased gene expression of atrogenes MurF1 and Mul1, and apoptotic genes caspase 3 and Bax. Finally, we showed that NDUFA4L2 was induced by FAL and that the Ndufa4l2 mRNA expression correlated with the reduced capacity of the muscle to generate force after the ischemic insult. These results show, for the first time, that mitochondrial NDUFA4L2 is a novel regulator of skeletal muscle mass and force. Specifically, induced NDUFA4L2 reduces mitochondrial activity leading to lower levels of important intramuscular metabolites, including adenine nucleotides and NAD+ , which are hallmarks of mitochondrial dysfunction and hence shows that dysfunctional mitochondrial activity may drive muscle wasting.
    Keywords:  NDUFA4L2; mitochondria; muscle mass; skeletal muscle
  3. Front Physiol. 2021 ;12 724010
      Intermediate filaments (IFs) are a primary structural component of the cytoskeleton extending throughout the muscle cell (myofiber). Mechanotransduction, the process by which mechanical force is translated into a biochemical signal to activate downstream cellular responses, is crucial to myofiber function. Mechanical forces also act on the nuclear cytoskeleton, which is integrated with the myofiber cytoskeleton by the linker of the nucleoskeleton and cytoskeleton (LINC) complexes. Thus, the nucleus serves as the endpoint for the transmission of force through the cell. The nuclear lamina, a dense meshwork of lamin IFs between the nuclear envelope and underlying chromatin, plays a crucial role in responding to mechanical input; myofibers constantly respond to mechanical perturbation via signaling pathways by activation of specific genes. The nucleus is the largest organelle in cells and a master regulator of cell homeostasis, thus an understanding of how it responds to its mechanical environment is of great interest. The importance of the cell nucleus is magnified in skeletal muscle cells due to their syncytial nature and the extreme mechanical environment that muscle contraction creates. In this review, we summarize the bidirectional link between the organization of the nucleoskeleton and the contractile features of skeletal muscle as they relate to muscle function.
    Keywords:  aging; intermediate filaments; lamins; mechanotransduction; muscle disease; nucleus
  4. Stem Cell Reports. 2021 Oct 26. pii: S2213-6711(21)00541-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      Skeletal muscle stem cells, i.e., satellite cells (SCs), are the essential source of new myonuclei for skeletal muscle regeneration following injury or chronic degenerative myopathies. Both SC number and regenerative capacity diminish during aging. However, molecular regulators that govern sizing of the initial SC pool are unknown. We demonstrate that fibroblast growth factor 6 (FGF6) is critical for SC pool scaling. Mice lacking FGF6 have reduced SCs of early postnatal origin and impaired regeneration. By contrast, increasing FGF6 during the early postnatal period is sufficient for SC expansion. Together, these data support that FGF6 is necessary and sufficient to modulate SC numbers during a critical postnatal period to establish the quiescent adult muscle stem cell pool. Our work highlights postnatal development as a time window receptive for scaling a somatic stem cell population via growth factor signaling, which might be relevant for designing new biomedical strategies to enhance tissue regeneration.
    Keywords:  FGF6; development; fibroblast growth factor; regeneration; satellite cells; skeletal muscle stem cells
  5. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2021 Nov 01. 18(1): 98
      BACKGROUND: Recent studies suggest potential benefits of applying L-carnitine in the treatment of cancer cachexia, but the precise mechanisms underlying these benefits remain unknown. This study was conducted to determine the mechanism by which L-carnitine reduces cancer cachexia.METHODS: C2C12 cells were differentiated into myotubes by growing them in DMEM for 24 h (hrs) and then changing the media to DMEM supplemented with 2% horse serum. Differentiated myotubes were treated for 2 h with TNF-α to establish a muscle atrophy cell model. After treated with L-carnitine, protein expression of MuRF1, MaFbx, FOXO3, p-FOXO3a, Akt, p-Akt, p70S6K and p-p70S6K was determined by Western blotting. Then siRNA-Akt was used to determine that L-carnitine ameliorated cancer cachexia via the Akt/FOXO3/MaFbx. In vivo, the cancer cachexia model was established by subcutaneously transplanting CT26 cells into the left flanks of the BALB/c nude mice. After treated with L-carnitine, serum levels of IL-1, IL-6 and TNF-α, and the skeletal muscle content of MuRF1, MaFbx, FOXO3, p-FOXO3a, Akt, p-Akt, p70S6K and p-p70S6K were measured.
    RESULTS: L-carnitine increased the gastrocnemius muscle (GM) weight in the CT26-bearing cachexia mouse model and the cross-sectional fiber area of the GM and myotube diameters of C2C12 cells treated with TNF-α. Additionally, L-carnitine reduced the protein expression of MuRF1, MaFbx and FOXO3a, and increased the p-FOXO3a level in vivo and in vitro. Inhibition of Akt, upstream of FOXO3a, reversed the effects of L-carnitine on the FOXO3a/MaFbx pathway and myotube diameters, without affecting FOXO3a/MuRF-1. In addition to regulating the ubiquitination of muscle proteins, L-carnitine also increased the levels of p-p70S6K and p70S6K, which are involved in protein synthesis. Akt inhibition did not reverse the effects of L-carnitine on p70S6K and p-p70S6K. Hence, L-carnitine ameliorated cancer cachexia via the Akt/FOXO3/MaFbx and p70S6K pathways. Moreover, L-carnitine reduced the serum levels of IL-1 and IL-6, factors known to induce cancer cachexia. However, there were minimal effects on TNF-α, another inducer of cachexia, in the in vivo model.
    CONCLUSION: These results revealed a novel mechanism by which L-carnitine protects muscle cells and reduces inflammation related to cancer cachexia.
    Keywords:  AKT; C2C12 cells; Cancer cachexia; Colon-26; FOXO3a; L-carnitine; Muscle atrophy; p70S6K
  6. J Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle. 2021 Nov 01.
      BACKGROUND: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients exhibit skeletal muscle atrophy, denervation, and reduced mitochondrial oxidative capacity. Whilst chronic tobacco smoke exposure is implicated in COPD muscle impairment, the mechanisms involved are ambiguous. The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) is a ligand-activated transcription factor that activates detoxifying pathways with numerous exogenous ligands, including tobacco smoke. Whereas transient AHR activation is adaptive, chronic activation can be toxic. On this basis, we tested the hypothesis that chronic smoke-induced AHR activation causes adverse muscle impact.METHODS: We used clinical patient muscle samples, and in vitro (C2C12 myotubes) and in vivo models (mouse), to perform gene expression, mitochondrial function, muscle and neuromuscular junction morphology, and genetic manipulations (adeno-associated virus-mediated gene transfer).
    RESULTS: Sixteen weeks of tobacco smoke exposure in mice caused muscle atrophy, neuromuscular junction degeneration, and reduced oxidative capacity. Similarly, smoke exposure reprogrammed the muscle transcriptome, with down-regulation of mitochondrial and neuromuscular junction genes. In mouse and human patient specimens, smoke exposure increased muscle AHR signalling. Mechanistically, experiments in cultured myotubes demonstrated that smoke condensate activated the AHR, caused mitochondrial impairments, and induced an AHR-dependent myotube atrophy. Finally, to isolate the role of AHR activity, expression of a constitutively active AHR mutant without smoke exposure caused atrophy and mitochondrial impairments in cultured myotubes, and muscle atrophy and neuromuscular junction degeneration in mice.
    CONCLUSIONS: These results establish that chronic AHR activity, as occurs in smokers, phenocopies the atrophy, mitochondrial impairment, and neuromuscular junction degeneration caused by chronic tobacco smoke exposure.
    Keywords:  Cachexia; Neuromuscular junction; Sarcopenia; Smoking
  7. J Gen Physiol. 2022 Jan 03. pii: e202112914. [Epub ahead of print]154(1):
      Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-linked dystrophin-minus muscle-wasting disease. Ion homeostasis in skeletal muscle fibers underperforms as DMD progresses. But though DMD renders these excitable cells intolerant of exertion, sodium overloaded, depolarized, and spontaneously contractile, they can survive for several decades. We show computationally that underpinning this longevity is a strikingly frugal, robust Pump-Leak/Donnan (P-L/D) ion homeostatic process. Unlike neurons, which operate with a costly "Pump-Leak-dominated" ion homeostatic steady state, skeletal muscle fibers operate with a low-cost "Donnan-dominated" ion homeostatic steady state that combines a large chloride permeability with an exceptionally small sodium permeability. Simultaneously, this combination keeps fiber excitability low and minimizes pump expenditures. As mechanically active, long-lived multinucleate cells, skeletal muscle fibers have evolved to handle overexertion, sarcolemmal tears, ischemic bouts, etc.; the frugality of their Donnan dominated steady state lets them maintain the outsized pump reserves that make them resilient during these inevitable transient emergencies. Here, P-L/D model variants challenged with DMD-type insult/injury (low pump-strength, overstimulation, leaky Nav and cation channels) show how chronic "nonosmotic" sodium overload (observed in DMD patients) develops. Profoundly severe DMD ion homeostatic insult/injury causes spontaneous firing (and, consequently, unwanted excitation-contraction coupling) that elicits cytotoxic swelling. Therefore, boosting operational pump-strength and/or diminishing sodium and cation channel leaks should help extend DMD fiber longevity.
  8. Endocr Rev. 2021 Nov 03. pii: bnab038. [Epub ahead of print]
      Diabetes is a global epidemic, of which type 2 diabetes makes up the majority of cases. Nonetheless, for some individuals, type 2 diabetes is eminently preventable and treatable via lifestyle interventions. Glucose uptake into skeletal muscle increases during and in recovery from exercise, with exercise effective at controlling glucose homeostasis in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, acute, and chronic exercise sensitizes skeletal muscle to insulin. A complex network of signals converge and interact to regulate glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity in response to exercise. Numerous forms of post-translational modifications (e.g. phosphorylation, ubiquitination, acetylation, ribosylation and more) are regulated by exercise. Here we review the current state-of-the-art of the role of post-translational modifications in transducing exercise-induced signals to modulate glucose uptake and insulin sensitivity within skeletal muscle. Furthermore, we consider emerging evidence for non-canonical signaling in the control of glucose homeostasis and the potential for regulation by exercise. While exercise is clearly an effective intervention to reduce glycemia and improve insulin sensitivity, the insulin- and exercise-sensitive signaling networks orchestrating this biology are not fully clarified. Elucidation of the complex proteome-wide interactions between post-translational modifications and the associated functional implications will identify mechanisms by which exercise regulates glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity. In doing so, this knowledge should illuminate novel therapeutic targets to enhance insulin sensitivity for the clinical management of type 2 diabetes.
    Keywords:  Exercise; acetylation; glucose; insulin; phosphorylation; ubiquitination
  9. Exp Cell Res. 2021 Nov 02. pii: S0014-4827(21)00462-6. [Epub ahead of print] 112906
      Muscular dystrophies and congenital myopathies arise from specific genetic mutations causing skeletal muscle weakness that reduces quality of life. Muscle health relies on resident muscle stem cells called satellite cells, which enable life-course muscle growth, maintenance, repair and regeneration. Such tuned plasticity gradually diminishes in muscle diseases, suggesting compromised satellite cell function. A central issue however, is whether the pathogenic mutation perturbs satellite cell function directly and/or indirectly via an increasingly hostile microenvironment as disease progresses. Here, we explore the effects on satellite cell function of pathogenic mutations in genes (myopathogenes) that associate with muscle disorders, to evaluate muscle pathological hallmarks that define dysfunctional satellite cells. We deploy transcriptomic analysis and comparison between muscular dystrophies and myopathies to determine the contribution of satellite cell dysfunction using literature, expression dynamics of myopathogenes and correlation with expression of the satellite cell marker PAX7. Our multimodal approach extends current pathological classifications to define Satellite Cell-opathies: muscle disorders in which satellite cell dysfunction contributes to pathology. Primary Satellite Cell-opathies are conditions where mutations in a myopathogene directly affect satellite cell function, such as in Progressive Congenital Myopathy with Scoliosis (MYOSCO) and Carey-Fineman-Ziter Syndrome (CFZS). Primary satellite cell-opathies are generally characterised as being congenital with general hypotonia, and specific involvement of respiratory, trunk and facial muscles, although serum CK levels are usually within the normal range. Secondary Satellite Cell-opathies have mutations in myopathogene that affect both satellite cells and muscle fibres. Such classification aids diagnosis and predicting probable disease course, as well as informing on treatment and therapeutic development.
    Keywords:  Muscle stem cell; PAX7; congenital myopathy; muscular dystrophy; myopathogene; neuromuscular disorders; satellite cell; skeletal muscle
  10. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2021 Nov 04.
      BACKGROUND: Mitochondria are critical to skeletal muscle contractile function and metabolic health. Short-term periods of step-reduction (SR) are associated with alterations in muscle protein turnover and mass. However, the effects of SR on mitochondrial metabolism/muscle oxidative metabolism and insulin-mediated signalling are unclear.AIM: We tested the hypothesis that the total and/or phosphorylated protein content of key skeletal muscle markers of mitochondrial/oxidative metabolism and insulin-mediated signalling would be altered over 7d of SR in young healthy males.
    METHODS: Eleven, healthy, recreationally active males (Mean ± SEM, age: 22±1yrs, BMI: 23.4±0.7 kg.m2) underwent a 7d period of SR. Immediately prior to and following SR, fasted-state muscle biopsy samples were acquired and analysed for the assessment of total of phosphorylated protein content of key markers of mitochondrial/oxidative metabolism and insulin-mediated signalling.
    RESULTS: Daily step count was significantly reduced during the SR intervention (13054±833 to 1192±99 steps.d-1, P<0.001). Following SR there was a significant decline in maximal citrate synthase activity (Fold change: 0.94±0.08, P<0.05) and a significant increase in the protein content of p-glycogen synthase (P-GSS641; Fold change: 1.47±0.14, P<0.05). No significant differences were observed in the total or phosphorylated protein content of other key markers of insulin-mediated signalling, oxidative metabolism, mitochondrial function or mitochondrial dynamics (all P>0.05).
    CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that short-term SR reduces the maximal activity of citrate synthase, a marker of mitochondrial content, without altering the total or phosphorylated protein content of key markers of skeletal muscle mitochondrial metabolism and insulin signalling in young healthy males.
    Keywords:  Step reduction; insulin sensitivity; mitochondria; physical inactivity; skeletal muscle
  11. Exp Cell Res. 2021 Nov 01. pii: S0014-4827(21)00464-X. [Epub ahead of print] 112908
      For decades now, cell transplantation has been considered a possible therapeutic strategy for muscular dystrophy, but failures have largely outnumbered success or at least encouraging outcomes. In this review we will briefly recall the history of cell transplantation, discuss the peculiar features of skeletal muscle, and dystrophic skeletal muscle in particular, that make the procedure complicated and inefficient. As there are many recent and exhaustive reviews on the various myogenic cell types that have been or will be transplanted, we will only briefly describe them and refer the reader to these reviews. Finally, we will discuss possible strategies to overcome the hurdles that prevent biological efficacy and hence clinical success.
    Keywords:  Cell transplantation; Muscular dystrophies; clinical trials; myogenic progenitor cells
  12. Mol Ther Nucleic Acids. 2021 Dec 03. 26 813-827
      Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is one of the most prevalent skeletal muscle dystrophies. Skeletal muscle pathology in individuals with FSHD is caused by inappropriate expression of the transcription factor DUX4, which activates different myotoxic pathways. At the moment there is no molecular therapy that can delay or prevent skeletal muscle wasting in FSHD. In this study, a systemically delivered antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) targeting the DUX4 transcript was tested in vivo in ACTA1-MCM;FLExDUX4 mice that express DUX4 in skeletal muscles. We show that the DUX4 ASO was well tolerated and repressed the DUX4 transcript, DUX4 protein, and mouse DUX4 target gene expression in skeletal muscles. In addition, the DUX4 ASO alleviated the severity of skeletal muscle pathology and partially prevented the dysregulation of inflammatory and extracellular matrix genes. DUX4 ASO-treated ACTA1-MCM;FLExDUX4 mice performed better on a treadmill; however, the hanging grid and four-limb grip strength tests were not improved compared to control ASO-treated ACTA1-MCM;FLExDUX4 mice. This study shows that systemic delivery of ASOs targeting DUX4 is a promising therapeutic strategy for FSHD and strategies that further improve the ASO efficacy in skeletal muscle are warranted.
    Keywords:  ACTA1-MCM; DUX4; FLExDUX4 mouse model; antisense oligonucleotide; facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy; therapy
  13. Development. 2021 Nov 01. pii: dev199861. [Epub ahead of print]148(21):
      Vertebrate skeletal muscle is composed of multinucleate myofibers that are surrounded by muscle connective tissue. Following injury, muscle is able to robustly regenerate because of tissue-resident muscle stem cells, called satellite cells. In addition, efficient and complete regeneration depends on other cells resident in muscle - including fibro-adipogenic progenitors (FAPs). Increasing evidence from single-cell analyses and genetic and transplantation experiments suggests that satellite cells and FAPs are heterogeneous cell populations. Here, we review our current understanding of the heterogeneity of satellite cells, their myogenic derivatives and FAPs in terms of gene expression, anatomical location, age and timing during the regenerative process - each of which have potentially important functional consequences.
    Keywords:  FAP; Fibro-adipogenic progenitor; Muscle; Regeneration; Satellite cell
  14. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 ;9 750534
      Muscle regeneration is an important homeostatic process of adult skeletal muscle that recapitulates many aspects of embryonic myogenesis. Satellite cells (SCs) are the main muscle stem cells responsible for skeletal muscle regeneration. SCs reside between the myofiber basal lamina and the sarcolemma of the muscle fiber in a quiescent state. However, in response to physiological stimuli or muscle trauma, activated SCs transiently re-enter the cell cycle to proliferate and subsequently exit the cell cycle to differentiate or self-renew. Recent evidence has stated that SCs display functional heterogeneity linked to regenerative capability with an undifferentiated subgroup that is more prone to self-renewal, as well as committed progenitor cells ready for myogenic differentiation. Several lineage tracing studies suggest that such SC heterogeneity could be associated with different embryonic origins. Although it has been established that SCs are derived from the central dermomyotome, how a small subpopulation of the SCs progeny maintain their stem cell identity while most progress through the myogenic program to construct myofibers is not well understood. In this review, we synthesize the works supporting the different developmental origins of SCs as the genesis of their functional heterogeneity.
    Keywords:  adult myogenesis; embryonic myogenesis; muscle regeneration; myogenic precursor cells; satellite cell heterogeneity
  15. Front Physiol. 2021 ;12 747214
      Ca2 +-regulated contractility is a key determinant of the quality of muscles. The sarcomeric myofilament proteins are essential players in the contraction of striated muscles. The troponin complex in the actin thin filaments plays a central role in the Ca2+-regulation of muscle contraction and relaxation. Among the three subunits of troponin, the Ca2+-binding subunit troponin C (TnC) is a member of the calmodulin super family whereas troponin I (TnI, the inhibitory subunit) and troponin T (TnT, the tropomyosin-binding and thin filament anchoring subunit) are striated muscle-specific regulatory proteins. Muscle type-specific isoforms of troponin subunits are expressed in fast and slow twitch fibers and are regulated during development and aging, and in adaptation to exercise or disuse. TnT also evolved with various alternative splice forms as an added capacity of muscle functional diversity. Mutations of troponin subunits cause myopathies. Owing to their physiological and pathological importance, troponin variants can be used as specific markers to define muscle quality. In this focused review, we will explore the use of troponin variants as markers for the fiber contents, developmental and differentiation states, contractile functions, and physiological or pathophysiological adaptations of skeletal muscle. As protein structure defines function, profile of troponin variants illustrates how changes at the myofilament level confer functional qualities at the fiber level. Moreover, understanding of the role of troponin modifications and mutants in determining muscle contractility in age-related decline of muscle function and in myopathies informs an approach to improve human health.
    Keywords:  adaptation; development; isoform; myopathy; skeletal muscle; splice form; troponin I; troponin T
  16. Exp Gerontol. 2021 Nov 02. pii: S0531-5565(21)00395-8. [Epub ahead of print] 111613
      In advanced age, there is an accelerated decline in skeletal muscle mass that appears to be secondary to repeated cycles of denervation-reinnervation and eventually, failed reinnervation. However, whether variation in reinnervation capacity explains why some muscles are less vulnerable to age-related atrophy has not been addressed. In this study we examined changes in neuromuscular junction (NMJ) morphology, fiber cross-sectional area (CSA) and fiber type, accumulation of severely atrophied myofibers, and expression of a marker of denervation in four muscles that exhibit differences in the degree of age-related atrophy and which span the extremes of fiber type composition in 8 mo old (8 M) and 34 mo old (34 M) male Fischer 344 Brown Norway F1 hybrid rats. Aging muscle atrophy was most pronounced in the fast twitch gastrocnemius (Gas; 25%) and similar between extensor digitorum longus (EDL) and slow-twitch soleus (Sol) muscle (14-15%), whereas the slow-twitch adductor longus (AL) increased in mass by 21% between 8 M and 34 M (P < 0.05 for all). Only the Sol exhibited significant alterations in fiber type with aging, and there was a decrease in fiber CSA in the Gas, EDL, and Sol (P < 0.05) with aging that was not seen in the AL. Muscles that atrophied had an increased fraction of severely atrophic myofibers (P < 0.05), but this was not observed in the AL. The Gas and EDL both demonstrated a similar degree of age-related remodeling of pre- and post-synaptic NMJ components. On the other hand, pre- and post-synaptic morphology underwent greater changes with aging in the AL, and many of these same morphological variables were already greater in the Sol vs AL at 8 M, suggesting the Sol had already undergone substantial remodeling and may be nearing its adaptive limits. Consistent with this idea, analysis of NMJ morphology in Sol from 3 M rats exhibited similar values as 8 M AL, and the Sol demonstrated greater expression of the denervation marker neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) compared to the AL at 34 M. Collectively, our results are consistent with NMJ remodeling capacity being finite with aging and that maintained remodeling potential confers atrophy protection in aging skeletal muscle by reducing the degree of persistent denervation.
    Keywords:  Aging; Muscle atrophy; Neuromuscular junction; Rat
  17. Exp Cell Res. 2021 Nov 01. pii: S0014-4827(21)00461-4. [Epub ahead of print] 112905
      Adult skeletal muscle regenerates completely after a damage, thanks to the satellite cells, or muscle stem cells (MuSCs), that implement the adult myogenic program. This program is sustained by both robust intrinsic mechanisms and extrinsic cues coming from the close neighborhood of MuSCs during muscle regeneration. Among the various cell types present in the regenerating muscle, immune cells, and particularly macrophages, exert numerous functions and provide sequential transient niches to support the myogenic program. The adequate orchestration of the delivery of these cues ensures efficient muscle regeneration and full functional recovery. The situation is very different in muscular dystrophies where asynchronous and permanent microinjuries occur, triggering contradictory regenerating cues at the same time in a specific area, that lead to chronic inflammation and fibrogenesis. Here we review the beneficial effects that leukocytes, and particularly macrophages, exert on their neighboring cells during skeletal muscle regeneration after an acute injury. Then, the more complicated (and less beneficial) roles of leukocytes during muscular dystrophies are presented. Finally, we discuss how the inflammatory compartment may be a target to improve muscle regeneration in both acute muscle injury and muscle diseases.
    Keywords:  Inflammation; Muscular dystrophies; Skeletal muscle regeneration; macrophages; stem cell niche
  18. Exp Gerontol. 2021 Nov 01. pii: S0531-5565(21)00400-9. [Epub ahead of print] 111618
      Age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass is widely considered a consequence of both fiber atrophy and fiber death. Evidence for fiber death derives largely from an age-related reduction in fiber numbers in muscle cross-sections, however it is unclear how age-related alterations in muscle morphology affect accuracy of such counts. To explore this we performed an examination of muscle and tendon length, muscle mass and girth, and pennation angle, in addition to histological section fiber counts of parallel-fibered (sternomastoid), fusiform (biceps brachii), and pennate (tibialis anterior, extensor digitorum longus, soleus) muscles from 31 mice aged 6-32 months. Age-related decline in mass and girth occurred in soleus (p = 0.026; p = 0.040), tibialis anterior (p = 0.004; p = 0.039), and extensor digitorum longus (p = 0.040; p = 0.022) muscles, for which location of maximal girth also changed. Tendon length and pennation angle remained consistent across the lifespan in all except soleus which showed elongation of both proximal and distal tendons coupled with alterations in pennation angle. Age-related decreases in fiber number were observed in transversely sectioned soleus and extensor digitorum longus muscles however when age-related changes in morphology were accounted for via oblique sectioning the age-related decrease in fiber number was eliminated. Findings show loss of fibers is not a significant contributor to age-related muscle wasting in mice, and that age-related changes in connective tissue selectively impact muscle structure. Fiber shortening is a likely contributor to loss of mass and change in function in muscles of old mice.
    Keywords:  Connective tissue; Fiber death; Muscle structure; Sarcopenia; Skeletal muscle
  19. J Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle. 2021 Nov 02.
      BACKGROUND: Skeletal muscle atrophy is a severe condition that involves loss of muscle mass and quality. Drug intake can also cause muscle atrophy. Biguanide metformin is the first-line and most widely prescribed anti-diabetic drug for patients with type 2 diabetes. The molecular mechanism of metformin in muscle is unclear.METHODS: Myostatin expression was investigated at the protein and transcript levels after metformin administration. To investigate the pathways associated with myostatin signalling, we used real-time polymerase chain reaction, immunoblotting, luciferase assay, chromatin immunoprecipitation assay, co-immunoprecipitation, immunofluorescence, primary culture, and confocal microscopy. Serum analysis, physical performance, and immunohistochemistry were performed using our in vivo model.
    RESULTS: Metformin induced the expression of myostatin, a key molecule that regulates muscle volume and triggers the phosphorylation of AMPK. AMPK alpha2 knockdown in the background of metformin treatment reduced the myostatin expression of C2C12 myotubes (-49.86 ± 12.03%, P < 0.01) and resulted in increased myotube diameter compared with metformin (+46.62 ± 0.88%, P < 0.001). Metformin induced the interaction between AMPK and FoxO3a, a key transcription factor of myostatin. Metformin also altered the histone deacetylase activity in muscle cells (>3.12-fold ± 0.13, P < 0.001). The interaction between HDAC6 and FoxO3a induced after metformin treatment. Confocal microscopy revealed that metformin increased the nuclear localization of FoxO3a (>3.3-fold, P < 0.001). Chromatin immunoprecipitation revealed that metformin induced the binding of FoxO3a to the myostatin promoter. The transcript-level expression of myostatin was higher in the gastrocnemius (GC) muscles of metformin-treated wild-type (WT) (+68.9 ± 10.01%, P < 0.001) and db/db mice (+55.84 ± 6.62%, P < 0.001) than that in the GC of controls (n = 4 per group). Average fibre cross-sectional area data also showed that the metformin-treated C57BL/6J (WT) (-31.74 ± 0.75%, P < 0.001) and C57BLKS/J-db/db (-18.11 ± 0.94%, P < 0.001) mice had decreased fibre size of GC compared to the controls. The serum myoglobin level was significantly decreased in metformin-treated WT mice (-66.6 ± 9.03%, P < 0.01).
    CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrate that metformin treatment impairs muscle function through the regulation of myostatin in skeletal muscle cells via AMPK-FoxO3a-HDAC6 axis. The muscle-wasting effect of metformin is more evident in WT than in db/db mice, indicating that more complicated mechanisms may be involved in metformin-mediated muscular dysfunction.
    Keywords:  AMPK; FoxO3a; HDAC6; Metformin; Muscle atrophy; Myostatin
  20. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2021 Nov 01.
      Physical inactivity impairs muscle insulin sensitivity. However, its mechanism is unclear. To model physical inactivity, we applied 24-h hind-limb cast immobilization (HCI) to mice with normal or high fat diet (HFD), and evaluated intramyocellular lipids and the insulin signaling pathway in the soleus muscle. While 2-wk HFD alone did not alter intramyocellular diacylglycerol (IMDG) accumulation, HCI alone increased it by 1.9-fold and HCI after HFD further increased it by 3.3-fold. Parallel to this, we found increased PKCε activity, reduced insulin-induced 2-deoxy-glucose (2-DOG) uptake, and reduced phosphorylation of IRβ and Akt, key molecules for insulin signaling pathway. Lipin1, which converts phosphatidic acid to diacylglycerol, showed increase of its activity by HCI, and dominant-negative lipin1 expression in muscle prevented HCI-induced IMDG accumulation and impaired insulin-induced 2-DOG uptake. Further, 24-h leg cast immobilization in human increased lipin1 expression. Thus, even short-term immobilization increases IMDG and impairs insulin sensitivity in muscle via enhanced lipin1 activity.
    Keywords:  Insulin resistance; Intramyocellular lipid; Physical inactivity; Skeletal muscle
  21. Skelet Muscle. 2021 Nov 02. 11(1): 24
      BACKGROUND: Human skeletal muscle is composed of three major fiber types, referred to as type 1, 2A, and 2X fibers. This heterogeneous cellular composition complicates the interpretation of studies based on whole skeletal muscle lysate. A single-fiber proteomics approach is required to obtain a fiber-type resolved quantitative information on skeletal muscle pathophysiology.METHODS: Single fibers were dissected from vastus lateralis muscle biopsies of young adult males and processed for mass spectrometry-based single-fiber proteomics. We provide and analyze a resource dataset based on relatively pure fibers, containing at least 80% of either MYH7 (marker of slow type 1 fibers), MYH2 (marker of fast 2A fibers), or MYH1 (marker of fast 2X fibers).
    RESULTS: In a dataset of more than 3800 proteins detected by single-fiber proteomics, we selected 404 proteins showing a statistically significant difference among fiber types. We identified numerous type 1 or 2X fiber type-specific protein markers, defined as proteins present at 3-fold or higher levels in these compared to other fiber types. In contrast, we could detect only two 2A-specific protein markers in addition to MYH2. We observed three other major patterns: proteins showing a differential distribution according to the sequence 1 > 2A > 2X or 2X > 2A > 1 and type 2-specific proteins expressed in 2A and 2X fibers at levels 3 times greater than in type 1 fibers. In addition to precisely quantifying known fiber type-specific protein patterns, our study revealed several novel features of fiber type specificity, including the selective enrichment of components of the dystrophin and integrin complexes, as well as microtubular proteins, in type 2X fibers. The fiber type-specific distribution of some selected proteins revealed by proteomics was validated by immunofluorescence analyses with specific antibodies.
    CONCLUSION: We here show that numerous muscle proteins, including proteins whose function is unknown, are selectively enriched in specific fiber types, pointing to potential implications in muscle pathophysiology. This reinforces the notion that single-fiber proteomics, together with recently developed approaches to single-cell proteomics, will be instrumental to explore and quantify muscle cell heterogeneity.
    Keywords:  Human skeletal muscle; Mass spectrometry; Muscle fiber types; Single-fiber proteomics
  22. J Gen Physiol. 2021 Dec 06. pii: e201912556. [Epub ahead of print]153(12):
      Denervation leads to muscle atrophy, which is described as muscle mass and force loss, the latter exceeding expectation from mass loss. The objective of this study was to determine the efficiency of angiotensin (Ang) 1-7 at reducing muscle atrophy in mouse extensor digitorum longus (EDL) and soleus following 14- and 28-d denervation periods. Some denervated mice were treated with Ang 1-7 or diminazene aceturate (DIZE), an ACE2 activator, to increase Ang 1-7 levels. Ang 1-7/DIZE treatment had little effect on muscle mass loss and fiber cross-sectional area reduction. Ang 1-7 and DIZE fully prevented the loss of tetanic force normalized to cross-sectional area and accentuated the increase in twitch force in denervated muscle. However, they did not prevent the shift of the force-frequency relationship toward lower stimulation frequencies. The Ang 1-7/DIZE effects on twitch and tetanic force were completely blocked by A779, a MasR antagonist, and were not observed in MasR-/- muscles. Ang 1-7 reduced the extent of membrane depolarization, fully prevented the loss of membrane excitability, and maintained the action potential overshoot in denervated muscles. Ang 1-7 had no effect on the changes in α-actin, myosin, or MuRF-1, atrogin-1 protein content or the content of total or phosphorylated Akt, S6, and 4EPB. This is the first study that provides evidence that Ang 1-7 maintains normal muscle function in terms of maximum force and membrane excitability during 14- and 28-d periods after denervation.
  23. Ann Clin Transl Neurol. 2021 Nov 02.
      OBJECTIVE: To define the transcriptomic changes responsible for the histologic alterations in skeletal muscle and their progression in collagen VI-related muscular dystrophy (COL6-RD).METHODS: COL6-RD patient muscle biopsies were stratified into three groups based on the overall level of pathologic severity considering degrees of fibrosis, muscle fiber atrophy, and fatty replacement of muscle tissue. Using microarray and RNA-Seq, we then performed global gene expression profiling on the same muscle biopsies and compared their transcriptome with age- and sex-matched controls.
    RESULTS: COL6-RD muscle biopsy transcriptomes as a group revealed prominent upregulation of muscle extracellular matrix component genes and the downregulation of skeletal muscle and mitochondrion-specific genes. Upregulation of the TGFβ pathway was the most conspicuous change across all biopsies and was fully evident even in the mildest/earliest histological group. There was no difference in the overall transcriptional signature between the different histologic groups but polyserial analysis identified relative changes along with COL6-RD histological severity.
    INTERPRETATION: Overall, our study establishes the prominent dysregulation of extracellular matrix genes, TGFβ signaling, and its downstream cellular pathways at the transcriptomic level in COL6-RD muscle.
  24. Cell Metab. 2021 Nov 02. pii: S1550-4131(21)00487-3. [Epub ahead of print]33(11): 2095-2096
      Skeletal muscle fibrosis is a complication of diabetes and insulin resistance. In this issue of Cell Metabolism, Farup et al. (2021) characterized fibro-adipogenic precursors (FAPs) in human skeletal muscle and showed that a CD34+CD90+ FAP subset is involved in diabetes-induced muscle fibrosis through PDGFRα signaling and activation of glycolysis.
  25. J Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle. 2021 Nov 02.
      BACKGROUND: Cancer cachexia, characterized by muscle and fat tissue wasting, is a major determinant of cancer-related mortality without established treatment. Recent animal data revealed that cancer cells induce muscle wasting by releasing Hsp70 and Hsp90 as surface proteins on extracellular vesicles (EVs). Here, we test a therapeutic strategy for ameliorating cancer cachexia by inhibiting the release of Hsp70 and Hsp90 using proton pump inhibitor omeprazole.METHODS: Omeprazole effect on Hsp70/90 release through EVs by Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC) cells in vitro, serum levels of Hsp70/90 and Hsp70/90-carrying EVs in LLC tumour-bearing mice, and LLC-induced muscle protein degradation pathways in C2C12 myotubes and mice were determined. Omeprazole effect on endolysosomal pH and Rab27b expression in LLC cells were analysed.
    RESULTS: Omeprazole treatment of LLC cells inhibited Hsp70/90 and Hsp70/90-carrying EV release in a dose-dependent manner (1 to 10 μM) and attenuated the catabolic activity of LLC cell-conditioned medium on C2C12 myotubes. Systemic omeprazole administration to LLC tumour-bearing mice (5 mg/kg/day subcutaneously) for 2 weeks blocked elevation of serum Hsp70, Hsp90, and Hsp70/90-carrying EVs, abrogated skeletal muscle catabolism, and prevented loss of muscle function as well as muscle and epididymal fat mass without altering tumour growth. Consequently, median survival increased by 23.3%. Mechanistically, omeprazole increased cancer cell endolysosomal pH level dose-dependently (0.1 to 1 μM) by inhibiting vacuolar H+ -ATPase. Further, omeprazole suppressed the highly elevated expression of Rab27b, a key regulator of EV release, in LLC cells.
    CONCLUSIONS: Omeprazole ameliorates cancer cachexia by inhibiting cancer cell release of Hsp70 and Hsp90.
    Keywords:  Fat tissue wasting; Hsp70; Hsp90; Lewis lung carcinoma; Muscle wasting; Rab27b; Vacuolar H+-ATPase
  26. Clin Epigenetics. 2021 Nov 03. 13(1): 202
      Nearly all human complex traits and diseases exhibit some degree of sex differences, with epigenetics being one of the main contributing factors. Various tissues display sex differences in DNA methylation; however, this has not yet been explored in skeletal muscle, despite skeletal muscle being among the tissues with the most transcriptomic sex differences. For the first time, we investigated the effect of sex on autosomal DNA methylation in human skeletal muscle across three independent cohorts (Gene SMART, FUSION, and GSE38291) using a meta-analysis approach, totalling 369 human muscle samples (222 males and 147 females), and integrated this with known sex-biased transcriptomics. We found 10,240 differentially methylated regions (DMRs) at FDR < 0.005, 94% of which were hypomethylated in males, and gene set enrichment analysis revealed that differentially methylated genes were involved in muscle contraction and substrate metabolism. We then investigated biological factors underlying DNA methylation sex differences and found that circulating hormones were not associated with differential methylation at sex-biased DNA methylation loci; however, these sex-specific loci were enriched for binding sites of hormone-related transcription factors (with top TFs including androgen (AR), estrogen (ESR1), and glucocorticoid (NR3C1) receptors). Fibre type proportions were associated with differential methylation across the genome, as well as across 16% of sex-biased DNA methylation loci (FDR < 0.005). Integration of DNA methylomic results with transcriptomic data from the GTEx database and the FUSION cohort revealed 326 autosomal genes that display sex differences at both the epigenome and transcriptome levels. Importantly, transcriptional sex-biased genes were overrepresented among epigenetic sex-biased genes (p value = 4.6e-13), suggesting differential DNA methylation and gene expression between male and female muscle are functionally linked. Finally, we validated expression of three genes with large effect sizes (FOXO3A, ALDH1A1, and GGT7) in the Gene SMART cohort with qPCR. GGT7, involved in antioxidant metabolism, displays male-biased expression as well as lower methylation in males across the three cohorts. In conclusion, we uncovered 8420 genes that exhibit DNA methylation differences between males and females in human skeletal muscle that may modulate mechanisms controlling muscle metabolism and health.
    Keywords:  DNA methylation; Epigenome-wide study (EWAS); Gene expression; Sex differences; Skeletal muscle
  27. Front Mol Biosci. 2021 ;8 675993
      Mdfi, an inhibitor of myogenic regulatory factors, is involved in myoblast myogenic development and muscle fiber type transformation. However, the regulatory network of Mdfi regulating myoblasts has not been revealed. In this study, we performed microRNAs (miRNAs)-seq on Mdfi overexpression (Mdfi-OE) and wild-type (WT) C2C12 cells to establish the regulatory networks. Comparative analyses of Mdfi-OE vs. WT identified 66 differentially expressed miRNAs (DEMs). Enrichment analysis of the target genes suggested that DEMs may be involved in myoblast differentiation and muscle fiber type transformation through MAPK, Wnt, PI3K-Akt, mTOR, and calcium signaling pathways. miRNA-mRNA interaction networks were suggested along with ten hub miRNAs and five hub genes. We also identified eight hub miRNAs and eleven hub genes in the networks of muscle fiber type transformation. Hub miRNAs mainly play key regulatory roles in muscle fiber type transformation through the PI3K-Akt, MAPK, cAMP, and calcium signaling pathways. Particularly, the three hub miRNAs (miR-335-3p, miR-494-3p, and miR-709) may be involved in both myogenic differentiation and muscle fiber type transformation. These hub miRNAs and genes might serve as candidate biomarkers for the treatment of muscle- and metabolic-related diseases.
    Keywords:  C2C12 cell differentiation; Mdfi; MiRNA-mRNA interaction network; hub gene; hub microRNA; muscle fiber type transformation
  28. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 ;9 757305
      Across different cell types and within single cells, mitochondria are heterogeneous in form and function. In skeletal muscle cells, morphologically and functionally distinct subpopulations of mitochondria have been identified, but the mechanisms by which the subcellular specialization of mitochondria contributes to energy homeostasis in working muscles remains unclear. Here, we discuss the current data regarding mitochondrial heterogeneity in skeletal muscle cells and highlight potential new lines of inquiry that have emerged due to advancements in cellular imaging technologies.
    Keywords:  bioenergetics; intermyofibrillar mitochondria; mitochondrial connectivity; mitochondrial respiration; organelle interactions; paranuclear mitochondria; paravascular mitochondria; subsarcolemmal mitochondria
  29. Eur J Histochem. 2021 Nov 04. 65(s1):
      Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a severe neuromuscular disease affecting children, due to mutation/deletion of survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene. The lack of functional protein SMN determines motor neuron (MN) degeneration and skeletal muscle atrophy, leading to premature death due to respiratory failure. Nowadays, the Food and Drug Administration approved the administration of three drugs, aiming at increasing the SMN production: although assuring noteworthy results, all these therapies show some non-negligible limitations, making essential the identification of alternative/synergistic therapeutic strategies. To offer a valuable in vitro experimental model for easily performing preliminary screenings of alternative promising treatments, we optimized an organotypic spinal cord culture (derived from murine spinal cord slices), which well recapitulates the pathogenetic features of SMA. Then, to validate the model, we tested the effects of human Mesenchymal Stem Cells (hMSCs) or murine C2C12 cells (a mouse skeletal myoblast cell line) conditioned media: 1/3 of conditioned medium (obtained from either hMSCs or C2C12 cells) was added to the conventional medium of the organotypic culture and maintained for 7 days. Then the slices were fixed and immunoreacted to evaluate the MN survival. In particular we observed that the C2C12 and hMSCs conditioned media positively influenced the MN soma size and the axonal length respectively, without modulating the glial activation. These data suggest that trophic factors released by MSCs or muscular cells can exert beneficial effects, by acting on different targets, and confirm the reliability of the model. Overall, we propose the organotypic spinal cord culture as an excellent tool to preliminarily screen molecules and drugs before moving to in vivo models, in this way partly reducing the use of animals and the costs.
  30. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 ;9 762669
      Proper development of mammalian skeletal muscle relies on precise gene expression regulation. Our previous studies revealed that muscle development is regulated by both mRNA and long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs). Accumulating evidence has demonstrated that N6-methyladenosine (m6A) plays important roles in various biological processes, making it essential to profile m6A modification on a transcriptome-wide scale in developing muscle. Patterns of m6A methylation in lncRNAs in developing muscle have not been uncovered. Here, we reveal differentially expressed lncRNAs and report temporal m6A methylation patterns in lncRNAs expressed in mouse myoblasts and myotubes by RNA-seq and methylated RNA immunoprecipitation (MeRIP) sequencing. Many lncRNAs exhibit temporal differential expression, and m6A-lncRNAs harbor the consensus m6A motif "DRACH" along lncRNA transcripts. Interestingly, we found that m6A methylation levels of lncRNAs are positively correlated with the transcript abundance of lncRNAs. Overexpression or knockdown of m6A methyltransferase METTL3 alters the expression levels of these lncRNAs. Furthermore, we highlight that the function of m6A genic lncRNAs might correlate to their nearby mRNAs. Our work reveals a fundamental expression reference of m6A-mediated epitranscriptomic modifications in lncRNAs that are temporally expressed in developing muscle.
    Keywords:  Brip1os; METTL3; lncRNAs; m6A; skeletal muscle development
  31. Shock. 2021 Aug 12.
      Sepsis is currently defined as life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated host response to infection. The skeletal muscle system is among the host organ systems compromised by sepsis. The resulting neuromuscular dysfunction and impaired regenerative capacity defines sepsis-induced myopathy and manifests as atrophy, loss of strength, and hindered regeneration after injury. These outcomes delay recovery from critical illness and confer increased vulnerability to morbidity and mortality. The mechanisms underlying sepsis-induced myopathy, including the potential contribution of peripheral organs, remain largely unexplored. The gut microbiome is an immunological and homeostatic entity that interacts with and controls end-organ function, including the skeletal muscle system. Sepsis induces alterations in the gut microbiota composition, which is globally termed a state of "dysbiosis" for the host compared to baseline microbiota composition. In this review, we critically evaluate existing evidence and potential mechanisms linking sepsis-induced myopathy with gut microbiota dysbiosis.
  32. Biochim Biophys Acta Gen Subj. 2021 Oct 30. pii: S0304-4165(21)00207-5. [Epub ahead of print] 130048
      Human skeletal muscle fiber is heterogenous due to its diversity of slow- and fast-twitch fibers. In human, slow-twitched fiber gene expression is correlated to MOTS-c, a mitochondria-derived peptide that has been characterized as an exercise mimetic. Within the MOTS-c open reading frame, there is an East Asian-specific m.1382A>C polymorphism (rs111033358) that changes the 14th amino acid of MOTS-c (i.e., K14Q), a variant of MOTS-c that has less biological activity. Here, we examined the influence of the m.1382A>C polymorphism causing MOTS-c K14Q on skeletal muscle fiber composition and physical performance. The myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoforms (MHC-I, MHC-IIa, and MHC-IIx) as an indicator of muscle fiber composition were assessed in 211 Japanese healthy individuals (102 men and 109 women). Muscular strength was measured in 86 physically active young Japanese men by using an isokinetic dynamometer. The allele frequency of the m.1382A>C polymorphism was assessed in 721 Japanese athletes and 873 ethnicity-matched controls. The m.1382A>C polymorphism genotype was analyzed by TaqMan SNP Genotyping Assay. Individuals with the C allele of the m.1382A>C exhibited a higher proportion of MHC-IIx, an index of fast-twitched fiber, than the A allele carriers. Men with the C allele of m.1382A>C exhibited significantly higher peak torques of leg flexion and extension. Furthermore, the C allele frequency was higher in the order of sprint/power athletes (6.5%), controls (5.1%), and endurance athletes (2.9%). Additionally, young male mice were injected with the MOTS-c neutralizing antibody once a week for four weeks to mimic the C allele of the m.1382A>C and assessed for protein expression levels of MHC-fast and MHC-slow. Mice injected with MOTS-c neutralizing antibody showed a higher expression of MHC-fast than the control mice. These results suggest that the C allele of the East Asian-specific m.1382A>C polymorphism leads to the MOTS-c K14Q contributes to the sprint/power performance through regulating skeletal muscle fiber composition.
    Keywords:  Genetic polymorphism; MOTS-c; Muscle fiber composition; Muscular strength; Sprint/power performance
  33. Life Sci. 2021 Nov 02. pii: S0024-3205(21)01104-8. [Epub ahead of print] 120117
      Denervated skeletal muscular atrophy is primarily characterized by loss of muscle strength and mass and an unideal functional recovery of the muscle after extended denervation. This review emphasizes the interaction between the immune system and the denervated skeletal muscle. Immune cells such as neutrophils, macrophages and T-cells are activated and migrate to denervated muscle, where they release a high concentration of cytokines and chemokines. The migration of these immune cells, the transformation of different functional immune cell subtypes, and the cytokine network in the immune microenvironment may be involved in the regulatory process of muscle atrophy or repair. However, the exact mechanisms of the interaction between these immune cells and immune molecules in skeletal muscles are unclear. In this paper, the immune microenvironment regulation of muscle atrophy induced by peripheral nerve injury is reviewed.
    Keywords:  Cytokine; Denervated skeletal muscular atrophy; Macrophages; Neutrophils; Peripheral nerve injury; T-cells
  34. Magn Reson Med. 2021 Oct 31.
      PURPOSE: Lactate is a key metabolite in skeletal muscle and whole-body physiology. Its MR visibility in muscle is affected by overlapping lipid signals and fiber orientation. Double-quantum filtered (DQF) 1 H MRS selectively detects lactate at 1.3 ppm, but at ultra-high field the efficiency of slice-selective 3D-localization with conventional RF pulses is limited by bandwidth. This novel 3D-localized 1 H DQF MRS sequence uses adiabatic refocusing pulses to unambiguously detect lactate in skeletal muscle at 7 T.METHODS: Lactate double-quantum coherences were 3D-localized using slice-selective Shinnar-Le Roux optimized excitation and adiabatic refocusing pulses (similar to semi-LASER). DQF MR spectra were acquired at 7 T from lactate phantoms, meat specimens with injected lactate (exploring multiple TEs and fiber orientations), and human gastrocnemius in vivo during and after exercise (without cuff ischemia).
    RESULTS: Lactate was readily detected, achieving the full potential of 50% signal with a DQF, in solution. The effects of fiber orientation and TE on the lactate doublet (peak splitting, amplitude, and phase) were in good agreement with theory and literature. Exercise-induced lactate accumulation was detected with 30 s time resolution.
    CONCLUSION: This novel 3D-localized 1 H DQF MRS sequence can dynamically detect glycolytically generated lactate in muscle during exercise and recovery at 7 T.
    Keywords:  double-quantum filter; lactate; localized 1H MRS; skeletal muscle exercise; ultra-high field
  35. Sci Rep. 2021 Nov 03. 11(1): 21563
      Targeted exercise combined with nutritional and pharmacological strategies is commonly considered to be the most optimal strategy to reduce the development and progression of cachexia. For COPD patients, this multi-targeted treatment has shown beneficial effects. However, in many, physical activity is seriously hampered by frailty and fatigue. In the present study, effects of whole-body-vibration-training (WBV) were investigated, as potential alternative to active exercise, on body mass, muscle mass and function in tumour bearing mice. Twenty-four male CD2F1-mice (6-8 weeks, 21.5 ± 0.2 g) were stratified into four groups: control, control + WBV, C26 tumour-bearing, and C26 tumour-bearing + WBV. From day 1, whole-body-vibration was daily performed for 19 days (15 min, 45 Hz, 1.0 g acceleration). General outcome measures included body mass and composition, daily activity, blood analysis, assessments of muscle histology, function, and whole genome gene expression in m. soleus (SOL), m. extensor digitorum longus (EDL), and heart. Body mass, lean and fat mass and EDL mass were all lower in tumour bearing mice compared to controls. Except from improved contractility in SOL, no effects of vibration training were found on cachexia related general outcomes in control or tumour groups, as PCA analysis did not result in a distinction between corresponding groups. However, analysis of transcriptome data clearly revealed a distinction between tumour and trained tumour groups. WBV reduced the tumour-related effects on muscle gene expression in EDL, SOL and heart. Gene Set Enrichment Analysis showed that these effects were associated with attenuation of the upregulation of the proteasome pathway in SOL. These data suggest that WBV had minor effects on cachexia related general outcomes in the present experimental set-up, while muscle transcriptome showed changes associated with positive effects. This calls for follow-up studies applying longer treatment periods of WBV as component of a multiple-target intervention.
  36. Front Physiol. 2021 ;12 752144
      Endurance exercise induces an increase in the expression of exercise-induced peptides that participate in the repair and regeneration of skeletal muscles. The present study aimed to evaluate the time course and role of exercise-induced cytokines in muscle damage and repair after a marathon race. Fifty-seven Brazilian male amateur marathon finishers, aged 30-55 years, participated in this study. The blood samples were collected 24 h before, immediately after, and 24 and 72 h after the São Paulo International Marathon. The leukogram and muscle damage markers were analyzed using routine automated methodology in the clinical laboratory. The plasma levels of the exercise-induced cytokines were determined using the Human Magnetic Bead Panel or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays [decorin and growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF-15)]. A muscle damage was characterized by an increase in plasma myocellular proteins and immune changes (leukocytosis and neutrophilia). Running the marathon increased interleukin (IL)-6 (4-fold), IL-8 (1.5-fold), monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (2.4-fold), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) (1.5-fold), IL-10 (11-fold), decorin (1.9-fold), GDF-15 (1.8-fold), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) (2.7-fold), follistatin (2-fold), and fibroblast growth factor (FGF-21) (3.4-fold) plasma levels. We also observed a reduction in musclin, myostatin, IL-15, and apelin levels immediately after the race (by 22-36%), 24 h (by 26-52%), and 72 h after the race (by 25-53%). The changes in BDNF levels were negatively correlated with the variations in troponin levels (r = -0.36). The variations in IL-6 concentrations were correlated with the changes in follistatin (r = 0.33) and FGF-21 (r = 0.31) levels after the race and with myostatin and irisin levels 72 h after the race. The changes in IL-8 and IL-10 levels had positive correlation with variation in musclin (p < 0.05). Regeneration of exercise-induced muscle damage involves the participation of classical inflammatory mediators, as well as GDF-15, BDNF, follistatin, decorin, and FGF-21, whose functions include myogenesis, mytophagia, satellite cell activation, and downregulation of protein degradation. The skeletal muscle damage markers were not associated to myokines response. However, BDNF had a negative correlation with a myocardial damage marker. The classical anti-inflammatory mediators (IL-10, IL-8, and IL-6) induced by exercise are associated to myokines response immediately after the race and in the recovery period and may affect the dynamics of muscle tissue repair.
    Keywords:  endurance exercise; inflammation; muscle damage; muscle repair; myocardial damage; myokines
  37. Gene Ther. 2021 Nov 05.
      Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a lethal, degenerative muscle disorder caused by mutations in the DMD gene, leading to severe reduction or absence of the protein dystrophin. Gene therapy strategies that aim to increase expression of a functional dystrophin protein (mini-dystrophin) are under investigation. The ability to accurately quantify dystrophin/mini-dystrophin is essential in assessing the level of gene transduction. We demonstrated the validation and application of a novel peptide immunoaffinity liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (IA-LC-MS/MS) assay. Data showed that dystrophin expression in Becker muscular dystrophy and DMD tissues, normalized against the mean of non-dystrophic control tissues (n = 20), was 4-84.5% (mean 32%, n = 20) and 0.4-24.1% (mean 5%, n = 20), respectively. In a DMD rat model, biceps femoris tissue from dystrophin-deficient rats treated with AAV9.hCK.Hopti-Dys3978.spA, an adeno-associated virus vector containing a mini-dystrophin transgene, showed a dose-dependent increase in mini-dystrophin expression at 6 months post-dose, exceeding wildtype dystrophin levels at high doses. Validation data showed that inter- and intra-assay precision were ≤20% (≤25% at the lower limit of quantification [LLOQ]) and inter- and intra-run relative error was within ±20% (±25% at LLOQ). IA-LC-MS/MS accurately quantifies dystrophin/mini-dystrophin in human and preclinical species with sufficient sensitivity for immediate application in preclinical/clinical trials.
  38. Sci Rep. 2021 Nov 03. 11(1): 21626
      We have determined the lipid, protein and miRNA composition of skeletal muscle (SkM)-released extracellular vesicles (ELVs) from Ob/ob (OB) vs wild-type (WT) mice. The results showed that atrophic insulin-resistant OB-SkM released less ELVs than WT-SkM, highlighted by a RAB35 decrease and an increase in intramuscular cholesterol content. Proteomic analyses of OB-ELVs revealed a group of 37 proteins functionally connected, involved in lipid oxidation and with catalytic activities. OB-ELVs had modified contents for phosphatidylcholine (PC 34-4, PC 40-3 and PC 34-0), sphingomyelin (Sm d18:1/18:1) and ceramides (Cer d18:1/18:0) and were enriched in cholesterol, likely to alleviated intracellular accumulation. Surprisingly many ELV miRNAs had a nuclear addressing sequence, and targeted genes encoding proteins with nuclear activities. Interestingly, SkM-ELV miRNA did not target mitochondria. The most significant function targeted by the 7 miRNAs altered in OB-ELVs was lipid metabolism. In agreement, OB-ELVs induced lipid storage in recipient adipocytes and increased lipid up-take and fatty acid oxidation in recipient muscle cells. In addition, OB-ELVs altered insulin-sensitivity and induced atrophy in muscle cells, reproducing the phenotype of the releasing OB muscles. These data suggest for the first time, a cross-talk between muscle cells and adipocytes, through the SkM-ELV route, in favor of adipose tissue expansion.
  39. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 ;9 731996
      Hox genes encode evolutionary conserved transcription factors that specify the anterior-posterior axis in all bilaterians. Being well known for their role in patterning ectoderm-derivatives, such as CNS and spinal cord, Hox protein function is also crucial in mesodermal patterning. While well described in the case of the vertebrate skeleton, much less is known about Hox functions in the development of different muscle types. In contrast to vertebrates however, studies in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, have provided precious insights into the requirement of Hox at multiple stages of the myogenic process. Here, we provide a comprehensive overview of Hox protein function in Drosophila and vertebrate muscle development, with a focus on the molecular mechanisms underlying target gene regulation in this process. Emphasizing a tight ectoderm/mesoderm cross talk for proper locomotion, we discuss shared principles between CNS and muscle lineage specification and the emerging role of Hox in neuromuscular circuit establishment.
    Keywords:  Hox; mesoderm; muscle; neuromuscular; patterning
  40. Neuromuscul Disord. 2021 Oct;pii: S0960-8966(21)00608-8. [Epub ahead of print]31(10): 1013-1020
      Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a severe X-linked disease characterized by progressive muscle weakness. It is caused by a variety of DMD gene pathogenic variations (large deletions or duplications, and small mutations) which leads to the absence or to a decreased amount of dystrophin protein. The allelic Becker muscular dystrophy is characterized by later onset and milder muscle involvement, and other rarer phenotypes might also be associated, such as dilated cardiomyopathy, cognitive impairment, and other neurological signs. Following the identification of the genetic cause and the disease pathophysiology, innovative personalized therapies emerged. These can be categorized into two main groups: (1) therapies aiming at the restoration of dystrophin at the sarcolemma; (2) therapeutics dealing with secondary consequences of dystrophin deficiency. In this review we provide an overview about DMD genotype-phenotype correlation, and on main approaches to restore dystrophin as stop codon read-through, exon skipping, vector-mediated gene therapy, and genome-editing strategies, some of these are based on approved orphan drugs. Finally, we present the clinical potential of novel strategies combining therapies to correct the genetic defect and other approaches, targeting secondary downstream pathological cascade due to dystrophin deficiency.
  41. Cell Rep. 2021 Nov 02. pii: S2211-1247(21)01383-8. [Epub ahead of print]37(5): 109910
      RBFOX2, which has a well-established role in alternative splicing, is linked to heart diseases. However, it is unclear whether RBFOX2 has other roles in RNA processing that can influence gene expression in muscle cells, contributing to heart disease. Here, we employ both 3'-end and nanopore cDNA sequencing to reveal a previously unrecognized role for RBFOX2 in maintaining alternative polyadenylation (APA) signatures in myoblasts. RBFOX2-mediated APA modulates mRNA levels and/or isoform expression of a collection of genes, including contractile and mitochondrial genes. Depletion of RBFOX2 adversely affects mitochondrial health in myoblasts, correlating with disrupted APA of mitochondrial gene Slc25a4. Mechanistically, RBFOX2 regulation of Slc25a4 APA is mediated through consensus RBFOX2 binding motifs near the distal polyadenylation site, enforcing the use of the proximal polyadenylation site. In sum, our results unveil a role for RBFOX2 in fine-tuning expression of mitochondrial and contractile genes via APA in myoblasts relevant to heart diseases.
    Keywords:  RBFOX2; Slc25a4; Tropomyosin 1; alternative polyadenylation; mitochondria; nanopore sequencing; poly(A) sequencing