bims-moremu Biomed News
on Molecular regulators of muscle mass
Issue of 2022‒03‒13
thirty-six papers selected by
Anna Vainshtein
Craft Science Inc.

  1. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Feb 27. pii: 2619. [Epub ahead of print]23(5):
      Autophagy is a key intracellular mechanism by which cells degrade old or dysfunctional proteins and organelles. In skeletal muscle, evidence suggests that exercise increases autophagosome content and autophagy flux. However, the exercise-induced response seems to differ between rodents and humans, and little is known about how different exercise prescription parameters may affect these results. The present study utilised skeletal muscle samples obtained from four different experimental studies using rats and humans. Here, we show that, following exercise, in the soleus muscle of Wistar rats, there is an increase in LC3B-I protein levels immediately after exercise (+109%), and a subsequent increase in LC3B-II protein levels 3 h into the recovery (+97%), despite no change in Map1lc3b mRNA levels. Conversely, in human skeletal muscle, there is an immediate exercise-induced decrease in LC3B-II protein levels (-24%), independent of whether exercise is performed below or above the maximal lactate steady state, which returns to baseline 3.5 h following recovery, while no change in LC3B-I protein levels or MAP1LC3B mRNA levels is observed. SQSTM1/p62 protein and mRNA levels did not change in either rats or humans following exercise. By employing an ex vivo autophagy flux assay previously used in rodents we demonstrate that the exercise-induced decrease in LC3B-II protein levels in humans does not reflect a decreased autophagy flux. Instead, effect size analyses suggest a modest-to-large increase in autophagy flux following exercise that lasts up to 24 h. Our findings suggest that exercise-induced changes in autophagosome content markers differ between rodents and humans, and that exercise-induced decreases in LC3B-II protein levels do not reflect autophagy flux level.
    Keywords:  LC3; autophagy; exercise; skeletal muscle
  2. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Feb 24. pii: 2517. [Epub ahead of print]23(5):
      Alternative splicing, the process by which exons within a pre-mRNA transcript are differentially joined or skipped, is crucial in skeletal muscle since it is required both during myogenesis and in post-natal life to reprogram the transcripts of contractile proteins, metabolic enzymes, and transcription factors in functionally distinct muscle fiber types. The importance of such events is underlined by the numerosity of pathological conditions caused by alternative splicing aberrations. Importantly, many skeletal muscle Ca2+ homeostasis genes are also regulated by alternative splicing mechanisms, among which is the Mitochondrial Ca2+ Uniporter (MCU) genuine activator MICU1 which regulates MCU opening upon cell stimulation. We have previously shown that murine skeletal muscle MICU1 is subjected to alternative splicing, thereby generating a splice variant-which was named MICU1.1-that confers unique properties to the mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake and ensuring sufficient ATP production for muscle contraction. Here we extended the analysis of MICU1 alternative splicing to human tissues, finding two additional splicing variants that were characterized by their ability to regulate mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake. Furthermore, we found that MICU1 alternative splicing is induced during myogenesis by the splicing factor RBFOX2. These results highlight the complexity of the alternative splicing mechanisms in skeletal muscle and the regulation of mitochondrial Ca2+ among tissues.
    Keywords:  alternative splicing; mitochondrial calcium homeostasis; myogenic differentiation; skeletal muscle
  3. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022 ;10 826981
      Skeletal muscle fibers contain a large number of mitochondria, which produce ATP through oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) and provide energy for muscle contraction. In this process, mitochondria also produce several types of "reactive species" as side product, such as reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species which have attracted interest. Mitochondria have been proven to have an essential role in the production of skeletal muscle reactive oxygen/nitrogen species (RONS). Traditionally, the elevation in RONS production is related to oxidative stress, leading to impaired skeletal muscle contractility and muscle atrophy. However, recent studies have shown that the optimal RONS level under the action of antioxidants is a critical physiological signal in skeletal muscle. Here, we will review the origin and physiological functions of RONS, mitochondrial structure and function, mitochondrial dynamics, and the coupling between RONS and mitochondrial oxidative stress. The crosstalk mechanism between mitochondrial function and RONS in skeletal muscle and its regulation of muscle stem cell fate and myogenesis will also be discussed. In all, this review aims to describe a comprehensive and systematic network for the interaction between skeletal muscle mitochondrial function and RONS.
    Keywords:  RONS; mitochondrial dynamics; mitochondrial function; oxidative stress; skeletal muscle
  4. BMC Genomics. 2022 Mar 07. 23(1): 188
      BACKGROUND: The repulsive guidance molecule a (RGMa) is a GPI-anchor axon guidance molecule first found to play important roles during neuronal development. RGMa expression patterns and signaling pathways via Neogenin and/or as BMP coreceptors indicated that this axon guidance molecule could also be working in other processes and diseases, including during myogenesis. Previous works from our research group have consistently shown that RGMa is expressed in skeletal muscle cells and that its overexpression induces both nuclei accretion and hypertrophy in muscle cell lineages. However, the cellular components and molecular mechanisms induced by RGMa during the differentiation of skeletal muscle cells are poorly understood. In this work, the global transcription expression profile of RGMa-treated C2C12 myoblasts during the differentiation stage, obtained by RNA-seq, were reported.RESULTS: RGMa treatment could modulate the expression pattern of 2,195 transcripts in C2C12 skeletal muscle, with 943 upregulated and 1,252 downregulated. Among them, RGMa interfered with the expression of several RNA types, including categories related to the regulation of RNA splicing and degradation. The data also suggested that nuclei accretion induced by RGMa could be due to their capacity to induce the expression of transcripts related to 'adherens junsctions' and 'extracellular-cell adhesion', while RGMa effects on muscle hypertrophy might be due to (i) the activation of the mTOR-Akt independent axis and (ii) the regulation of the expression of transcripts related to atrophy. Finally, RGMa induced the expression of transcripts that encode skeletal muscle structural proteins, especially from sarcolemma and also those associated with striated muscle cell differentiation.
    CONCLUSIONS: These results provide comprehensive knowledge of skeletal muscle transcript changes and pathways in response to RGMa.
    Keywords:  Axon Guidance; Hyperplasia; Hypertrophy; Myogenesis; Skeletal muscle differentiation; Transcriptomic analysis
  5. Mini Rev Med Chem. 2022 Mar 09.
      Interleukin-6 (IL-6) influences both inflammatory response and anti-inflammatory processes. This cytokine can be released by the exercising skeletal muscle, which characterizes it as a myokine. Unlike what is observed in inflammation, IL-6 produced by skeletal muscle is not preceded by the release of other pro-inflammatory cytokines, but is seems to be dependent on the lactate produced during exercise, thus causing different effects from those of seen in inflammatory state. After binding to its receptor, myokine IL-6 activates the PI3K-Akt pathway. One consequence of this upregulation is the potentiation of insulin signaling, which enhances insulin sensitivity. IL-6 increases GLUT-4 vesicle mobilization to muscle cell periphery, increasing the glucose transport into the cell, and also glycogen synthesis. Muscle glycogen provides energy for the ATP resynthesis, and regulates Ca2+ release by the sarcoplasmic reticulum, influencing muscle contraction, and, hence, muscle function by multiple pathways. Another implication for the upregulation of PI3K-Akt pathway is the activation of mTORC1, which regulates mRNA translational efficiency by regulating translation machinery, and translational capacity by inducing ribosomal biogenesis. Thus, IL-6 may contribute for skeletal muscle hypertrophy and function by increasing contractile protein synthesis.
    Keywords:  Cytokine; TNF-α; diabetes; glucose; glycogen.; hypertrophy
  6. Exp Ther Med. 2022 Apr;23(4): 251
      Lower limb ischemia caused by diabetic foot (DF) is one of the most serious complications of diabetes. The therapeutic role of VEGF in DF is well documented. However, the mechanism for action of VEGF is still not clear. The present study aimed to explore the effects of VEGF-mediated skeletal muscle fiber type switch in angiogenesis and the treatment of DF. C57BL/6 mice housed in cages equipped with a voluntary running wheel were used to access VEGF protein level and citrate synthase activity (by ELISA) as well as muscle fiber type changes (by immunofluorescence) in the gastrocnemius muscle. C57BL/6 mice were fed on a high-fat diet for 6 weeks and then injected with streptozocin to induce diabetic lower limb ischemia model. Control adenovirus (Ad-GFP) or Ad-VEGF-GFP were then injected into the left gastrocnemius of the ischemic diabetic mice. Blood flow perfusion was examined by laser Doppler imaging at 1, 3, 7 and 14 days after adenovirus transduction. On day 14, all mice were anesthetized and sacrificed. VEGF expression levels, citrate synthase activity and muscle fiber type changes in the gastrocnemius muscle were assayed by ELISA and immunofluorescence analysis of myosin heavy chain IIa (MHCIIa) expression, respectively. Transwell assays were performed to determine whether VEGF-treated C2C12 myotubes played a role on tubule formation and migration of HUVECs. It was found that VEGF levels and citrate synthase activity were upregulated after voluntary exercise, along with the increased frequency of oxidized muscle fibers. Notably, adenovirus-mediated VEGF overexpression in the muscle also increased the frequency of oxidized (MHCIIa-positive) muscle fibers, enhanced citrate synthase activity and ameliorated lower limb ischemia in diabetic mice. VEGF treatment enhanced the phosphorylation of PI3K, Akt and AMPK (assayed by western blotting), as well as glucose consumption and metabolism (assayed by western blotting and glucose uptake assay), in the C2C12 myotubes. Interestingly, VEGF-treated C2C12 myotubes promoted the migration and tubule formation of HUVEC cells. The present findings suggest that skeletal muscle fiber conversion might be a potential approach for VEGF-mediated angiogenesis and disease treatment, which may provide new options for the prevention and treatment of DF.
    Keywords:  angiogenesis; lower limb ischemia; skeletal muscle fiber type; vascular endothelial growth factor
  7. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2022 Mar 06.
      Skeletal muscle strength, mass, and function should be carefully monitored for signs of decline with advanced adult age. An understanding of the pathophysiology and severity of sarcopenia can be improved with the exploration of changes in muscle fiber properties. Furthermore, although functional decline with increase age is a well-known phenomenon, the mechanisms underlying this decline, and the features that characterize it, are complex and variable. The age-related decline of muscle function is a result of not only a decrease of muscle mass but also a decline in the intrinsic properties of muscle fibers that are independent of size. We believe it is important to understand changes in muscle quality (force adjusted for size), and not to focus solely on muscle mass, because muscle quality is closely related to measurements of function and could potentially predict clinical outcomes such as morbidity, disability, and mortality. Neurological and metabolic mechanisms contribute to muscle quality, but the intrinsic properties of muscle cells are central to the maintenance of force-generating capacity. Muscle quality can be evaluated with the assessment of morphological, physiological, and mechanical properties in single permeabilized or skinned fibers. This approach excludes the influence of the nervous system, tendons, and the extracellular matrix. In this review, we summarized the changes in active and passive mechanical properties at the single muscle cell level in older skeletal muscles. We argue that intrinsic mechanical changes in human single muscle fibers are useful biomarkers and indicators of muscle quality.
    Keywords:  Biomarker; Muscle quality; Older men and women ; Single skeletal muscle fiber
  8. Aging Cell. 2022 Mar 09. e13583
      Sarcopenia is one of the main factors contributing to the disability of aged people. Among the possible molecular determinants of sarcopenia, increasing evidences suggest that chronic inflammation contributes to its development. However, a key unresolved question is the nature of the factors that drive inflammation during aging and that participate in the development of sarcopenia. In this regard, mitochondrial dysfunction and alterations in mitophagy induce inflammatory responses in a wide range of cells and tissues. However, whether accumulation of damaged mitochondria (MIT) in muscle could trigger inflammation in the context of aging is still unknown. Here, we demonstrate that BCL2 interacting protein 3 (BNIP3) plays a key role in the control of mitochondrial and lysosomal homeostasis, and mitigates muscle inflammation and atrophy during aging. We show that muscle BNIP3 expression increases during aging in mice and in some humans. BNIP3 deficiency alters mitochondrial function, decreases mitophagic flux and, surprisingly, induces lysosomal dysfunction, leading to an upregulation of Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9)-dependent inflammation and activation of the NLRP3 (nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain (NOD)-, leucine-rich repeat (LRR)-, and pyrin domain-containing protein 3) inflammasome in muscle cells and mouse muscle. Importantly, downregulation of muscle BNIP3 in aged mice exacerbates inflammation and muscle atrophy, and high BNIP3 expression in aged human subjects associates with a low inflammatory profile, suggesting a protective role for BNIP3 against age-induced muscle inflammation in mice and humans. Taken together, our data allow us to propose a new adaptive mechanism involving the mitophagy protein BNIP3, which links mitochondrial and lysosomal homeostasis with inflammation and is key to maintaining muscle health during aging.
    Keywords:  aging; inflammation; lysosome; mitochondria; mitophagy; muscle
  9. J Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle. 2022 Mar 12.
      Evidence suggests that gut microbiota composition and diversity can be a determinant of skeletal muscle metabolism and functionality. This is true in catabolic (sarcopenia and cachexia) or anabolic (exercise or in athletes) situations. As gut microbiota is known to be causal in the development and worsening of metabolic dysregulation phenotypes such as obesity or insulin resistance, it can regulate, at least partially, skeletal muscle mass and function. Skeletal muscles are physiologically far from the gut. Signals generated by the gut due to its interaction with the gut microbiome (microbial metabolites, gut peptides, lipopolysaccharides, and interleukins) constitute links between gut microbiota activity and skeletal muscle and regulate muscle functionality via modulation of systemic/tissue inflammation as well as insulin sensitivity. The probiotics able to limit sarcopenia and cachexia or promote health performances in rodents are mainly lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria. In humans, the same bacteria have been tested, but the scarcity of the studies, the variability of the populations, and the difficulty to measure accurately and with high reproducibility muscle mass and function have not allowed to highlight specific strains able to optimize muscle mass and function. Further studies are required on more defined population, in order to design personalized nutrition. For elderly, testing the efficiency of probiotics according to the degree of frailty, nutritional state, or degree of sarcopenia before supplementation is essential. For exercise, selection of probiotics capable to be efficient in recreational and/or elite athletes, resistance, and/or endurance exercise would also require further attention. Ultimately, a combination of strategies capable to optimize muscle functionality, including bacteria (new microbes, bacterial ecosystems, or mix, more prone to colonize a specific gut ecosystem) associated with prebiotics and other 'traditional' supplements known to stimulate muscle anabolism (e.g. proteins), could be the best way to preserve muscle functionality in healthy individuals at all ages or patients.
    Keywords:  Ageing; Athlete; Cachexia; Exercise; Probiotic; Sarcopenia; Skeletal muscle
  10. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Feb 25. pii: 2533. [Epub ahead of print]23(5):
      The myosin molecular motor interacts with actin filaments in an ATP-dependent manner to yield muscle contraction. Myosin heavy chain residue R369 is located within loop 4 at the actin-tropomyosin interface of myosin's upper 50 kDa subdomain. To probe the importance of R369, we introduced a histidine mutation of that residue into Drosophila myosin and implemented an integrative approach to determine effects at the biochemical, cellular, and whole organism levels. Substituting the similarly charged but bulkier histidine residue reduces maximal actin binding in vitro without affecting myosin ATPase activity. R369H mutants exhibit impaired flight ability that is dominant in heterozygotes and progressive with age in homozygotes. Indirect flight muscle ultrastructure is normal in mutant homozygotes, suggesting that assembly defects or structural deterioration of myofibrils are not causative of reduced flight. Jump ability is also reduced in homozygotes. In contrast to these skeletal muscle defects, R369H mutants show normal heart ultrastructure and function, suggesting that this residue is differentially sensitive to perturbation in different myosin isoforms or muscle types. Overall, our findings indicate that R369 is an actin binding residue that is critical for myosin function in skeletal muscles, and suggest that more severe perturbations at this residue may cause human myopathies through a similar mechanism.
    Keywords:  Drosophila melanogaster; cardiomyopathy; muscle; myopathy; myosin
  11. J Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle. 2022 Mar 11.
      BACKGROUND: Cancer patients at advanced stages experience a severe depletion of skeletal muscle compartment together with a decrease in muscle function, known as cancer cachexia. Cachexia contributes to reducing quality of life, treatment efficiency, and lifespan of cancer patients. However, the systemic nature of the syndrome is poorly documented. Here, we hypothesize that glucocorticoids would be important systemic mediators of cancer cachexia.METHODS: To explore the role of glucocorticoids during cancer cachexia, biomolecular analyses were performed on several tissues (adrenal glands, blood, hypothalamus, liver, and skeletal muscle) collected from ApcMin/+ male mice, a mouse model of intestine and colon cancer, aged of 13 and 23 weeks, and compared with wild type age-matched C57BL/6J littermates.
    RESULTS: Twenty-three-week-old Apc mice recapitulated important features of cancer cachexia including body weight loss (-16%, P < 0.0001), muscle atrophy (gastrocnemius muscle: -53%, P < 0.0001), and weakness (-50% in tibialis anterior muscle force, P < 0.0001), increased expression of atrogens (7-fold increase in MuRF1 transcript level, P < 0.0001) and down-regulation of Akt-mTOR pathway (3.3-fold increase in 4EBP1 protein content, P < 0.0001), together with a marked transcriptional rewiring of hepatic metabolism toward an increased expression of gluconeogenic genes (Pcx: +90%, Pck1: +85%), and decreased expression of glycolytic (Slc2a2: -40%, Gk: -30%, Pklr: -60%), ketogenic (Hmgcs2: -55%, Bdh1: -80%), lipolytic/fatty oxidation (Lipe: -50%, Mgll: -60%, Cpt2: -60%, Hadh: -30%), and lipogenic (Acly: -30%, Acacb: -70%, Fasn: -45%) genes. The hypothalamic pituitary-adrenal axis was activated, as evidenced by the increase in the transcript levels of genes encoding corticotropin-releasing hormone in the hypothalamus (2-fold increase, P < 0.01), adrenocorticotropic hormone receptor (3.4-fold increase, P < 0.001), and steroid biosynthesis enzymes (Cyp21a1, P < 0.0001, and Cyp11b1, P < 0.01) in the adrenal glands, as well as by the increase in corticosterone level in the serum (+73%, P < 0.05), skeletal muscle (+17%, P < 0.001), and liver (+24%, P < 0.05) of cachectic 23-week-old Apc mice. A comparative transcriptional analysis with dexamethasone-treated C57BL/6J mice indicated that the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in 23-week-old ApcMin/+ mice was significantly associated with the transcription of glucocorticoid-responsive genes in skeletal muscle (P < 0.05) and liver (P < 0.001). The transcriptional regulation of glucocorticoid-responsive genes was also observed in the gastrocnemius muscle of Lewis lung carcinoma tumour-bearing mice and in KPC mice (tibialis anterior muscle and liver).
    CONCLUSIONS: These findings highlight the role of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-glucocorticoid pathway in the transcriptional regulation of skeletal muscle catabolism and hepatic metabolism during cancer cachexia. They also provide the paradigm for the design of new therapeutic strategies.
    Keywords:  Cancer cachexia; Glucocorticoid; Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis; Liver; Metabolism; Skeletal muscle
  12. Gen Physiol Biophys. 2022 Jan;41(1): 71-78
      ER-phagy is a selective endoplasmic reticulum (ER) autophagy mediated by ER-localized receptors, which ensures proper cellular homeostasis under stress. However, it remains unclear whether ER-phagy is involved in skeletal muscle response to exercise stress. Male 8-week-old Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to an exercise protocol comprising a 90-min downhill run with a slope of -16° and a speed of 16 m/min. The soleus of the rats was sampled at 0, 12, 24, 48, and 72 h after exercise. After exercise, the sarcoplasmic/ER calcium ATPase (SERCA) content decreased, the protein disulphide isomerase (PDI) content increased, and ER stress (GRP78 and CRT) and autophagy (FAM134B and LC3)-related protein expression increased in the soleus muscle of rats, and gradually recovered with time. We also used pharmacological methods to simulate the effects of exercise stress on skeletal muscle cells to further explore the mechanism of ER-phagy in skeletal muscle cells. Thapsigargin was used to inhibit the SERCA pump of L6 myoblasts and successfully induce ER stress and activate ER-phagy. During this process, the ER-phagy receptor FAM134B anchors and fragments ER, and then binds with LC3 to form autophagosomes. These results suggest that ER-phagy is involved in the skeletal muscle cell response to exercise stress, which helps to maintain cellular ER homeostasis during exercise.
  13. Stem Cells Int. 2022 ;2022 2735414
      Human myogenic progenitors can be derived from pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) for use in modeling natural and pathological myogenesis, as well as treating muscle diseases. Transgene-free methods of deriving myogenic progenitors from different PSC lines often produce mixed populations that are heterogeneous in myogenic differentiation potential, yet detailed and accurate characterization of human PSC-derived myogenic progenitors remains elusive in the field. The isolation and purification of human PSC-derived myogenic progenitors is thus an important methodological consideration when we investigate the properties and behaviors of these cells in culture. We previously reported a transgene-free, serum-free floating sphere culture method for the derivation of myogenic progenitors from human PSCs. In this study, we first performed comprehensive cell surface protein profiling of the sphere culture cells through the screening of 255 antibodies. Next, we used magnetic activated cell sorting and enriched the cells according to the expression of specific surface markers. The ability of muscle differentiation in the resulting cells was characterized by immunofluorescent labeling and quantification of positively stained cells. Our results revealed that myotube-forming cells resided in the differentiated cultures of CD29+, CD56+, CD271+, and CD15- fractions, while thick and multinucleated myotubes were identified in the differentiated cultures from CD9+ and CD146+ fractions. We found that PAX7 localization to the nucleus correlates with myotube-forming ability in these sorted populations. We also demonstrated that cells in unsorted, CD271+, and CD15- fractions responded differently to cryopreservation and prolonged culture expansion. Lastly, we showed that CD271 expression is essential for terminal differentiation of human PSC-derived myogenic progenitors. Taken together, these cell surface proteins are not only useful markers to identify unique cellular populations in human PSC-derived myogenic progenitors but also functionally important molecules that can provide valuable insight into human myogenesis.
  14. J Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle. 2022 Mar 06.
      BACKGROUND: Oxidative stress is implicated in the pathophysiology of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD, caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene), which is the most common and severe of the muscular dystrophies. To our knowledge, the distribution of iron, an important modulator of oxidative stress, has not been assessed in DMD. We tested the hypotheses that iron accumulation occurs in mouse models of DMD and that modulation of iron through the diet or chelation could modify disease severity.METHODS: We assessed iron distribution and total elemental iron using LA-ICP-MS on skeletal muscle cross-sections of 8-week-old Bl10 control mice and dystrophic mdx mice (with moderate dystrophy) and dystrophin/utrophin-null mice (dko, with severe dystrophy). In addition, mdx mice (4 weeks) were treated with either an iron chelator (deferiprone 150 mg/kg/day) or iron-enriched feed (containing 1% added iron as carbonyl iron). Immunoblotting was used to determine the abundance of iron- and mitochondria-related proteins. (Immuno)histochemical and mRNA assessments of fibrosis and inflammation were also performed.
    RESULTS: We observed a significant increase in total elemental iron in hindlimb muscles of dko mice (+50%, P < 0.05) and in the diaphragm of mdx mice (+80%, P < 0.05), with both tissues exhibiting severe pathology. Iron dyshomeostasis was further evidenced by an increase in the storage protein ferritin (dko: +39%, P < 0.05) and ferroportin compared with Bl10 control mice (mdx: +152% and dko: +175%, P < 0.05). Despite having features of iron overload, dystrophic muscles had lower protein expression of ALAS-1, the rate-limiting enzyme for haem synthesis (dko -44%, P < 0.05), and the haem-containing protein myoglobin (dko -54%, P < 0.05). Deferiprone treatment tended to decrease muscle iron levels in mdx mice (-30%, P < 0.1), which was associated with lower oxidative stress and fibrosis, but suppressed haem-containing proteins and mitochondrial content. Increasing iron via dietary intervention elevated total muscle iron (+25%, P < 0.05) but did not aggravate the pathology.
    CONCLUSIONS: Muscles from dystrophic mice have increased iron levels and dysregulated iron-related proteins that are associated with dystrophic pathology. Muscle iron levels were manipulated by iron chelation and iron enriched feed. Iron chelation reduced fibrosis and reactive oxygen species (ROS) but also suppressed haem-containing proteins and mitochondrial activity. Conversely, iron supplementation increased ferritin and haem-containing proteins but did not alter ROS, fibrosis, or mitochondrial activity. Further studies are required to investigate the contribution of impaired ferritin breakdown in the dysregulation of iron homeostasis in DMD.
    Keywords:  Iron; Muscle metabolism; Muscular dystrophy; Oxidative stress
  15. Curr Opin Physiol. 2021 Dec;pii: 100487. [Epub ahead of print]24
      Mitochondria and lipid droplets in the insulin resistant skeletal muscle of type 2 diabetic individuals have both been heavily investigated independently and are characterized by more fragmented, dysfunctional mitochondrial networks and larger lipid droplets compared to skeletal muscle of healthy individuals. Specialized contacts between mitochondrial and lipid droplet membranes are known to decrease in diabetic muscle, though it remains unclear how energy transfer at the remaining mitochondria-lipid droplet contact sites may be altered by type 2 diabetes. The purpose of this review is to highlight recent data on mitochondrial structure and function and lipid droplet dynamics in type 2 diabetic skeletal muscle and to underscore the need for more detailed investigations into the functional nature of mitochondria-lipid droplet interactions in type 2 diabetes.
    Keywords:  Mitochondria; diabetes; insulin resistance; lipid droplets; mitochondrial network
  16. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Mar 02. pii: 2751. [Epub ahead of print]23(5):
      It is well-established that prolonged exposure to real or simulated microgravity/disuse conditions results in a significant reduction in the rate of muscle protein synthesis (PS) and loss of muscle mass. Muscle protein synthesis is largely dependent upon translational capacity (ribosome content), the regulation of which is poorly explored under conditions of mechanical unloading. Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) (a negative regulator of PS) is known to be activated in rat soleus muscle under unloading conditions. We hypothesized that inhibition of GSK-3 activity under disuse conditions (hindlimb suspension, HS) would reduce disuse-induced downregulation of ribosome biogenesis in rat soleus muscle. Wistar rats were randomly divided into four groups: (1) vivarium control (C), (2) vivarium control + daily injections (4 mg/kg) of AR-A014418 (GSK-3 inhibitor) for 7 days, (3) 7-day HS, (4) 7-day HS + daily injections (4 mg/kg) of AR-A014418. GSK-3beta and glycogen synthase 1 (GS-1) phosphorylation levels were measured by Western-blotting. The key markers of ribosome biogenesis were assessed via agarose gel-electrophoresis and RT-PCR. The rate of muscle PS was assessed by puromycin-based SUnSET method. As expected, 7-day HS resulted in a significant decrease in the inhibitory Ser9 GSK-3beta phosphorylation and an increase in GS-1 (Ser641) phosphorylation compared to the C group. Treatment of rats with GSK-3 inhibitor prevented HS-induced increase in GS1 (Ser641) phosphorylation, which was indicative of GSK-3 inhibition. Administration of GSK-3 inhibitor partly attenuated disuse-induced downregulation of c-Myc expression as well as decreases in the levels of 45S pre-rRNA and 18S + 28S rRNAs. These AR-A014418-induced alterations in the markers of ribosome biogenesis were paralleled with partial prevention of a decrease in the rate of muscle PS. Thus, inhibition of GSK-3 during 7-day HS is able to partially attenuate the reductions in translational capacity and the rate of PS in rat soleus muscle.
    Keywords:  18S rRNA; 28S rRNA; GSK-3; c-Myc; hindlimb unloading; muscle protein synthesis; ribosome biogenesis; simulated microgravity; soleus muscle
  17. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2022 ;13 851520
      Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), characterized by extensive triglyceride accumulation in hepatocytes, may progress to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) with liver fibrosis and inflammation and increase the risk of cirrhosis, cancer, and death. It has been reported that physical exercise is effective in ameliorating NAFLD and NASH, while skeletal muscle dysfunctions, including lipid deposition and weakness, are accompanied with NAFLD and NASH. However, the molecular characteristics and alterations in skeletal muscle in the progress of NAFLD and NASH remain unclear. In the present study, we provide a comprehensive analysis on the similarity and heterogeneity of quadriceps muscle in NAFLD and NASH mice models by RNA sequencing. Importantly, Gene Ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway functional enrichment analysis revealed that NAFLD and NASH led to impaired glucose and lipid metabolism and deteriorated functionality in skeletal muscle. Besides this, we identified that myokines possibly mediate the crosstalk between muscles and other metabolic organs in pathological conditions. Overall, our analysis revealed a comprehensive understanding of the molecular signature of skeletal muscles in NAFLD and NASH, thus providing a basis for physical exercise as an intervention against liver diseases.
    Keywords:  NAFLD; NASH; insulin resistance; lipid deposition; myokines; quadriceps muscle
  18. J Invest Surg. 2022 Mar 06. 1-6
      BACKGROUND: Dynamin related protein-1 (Drp1)-mediated mitochondrial fission relates to ischemia reperfusion (IR) injury, and its association with necroptosis is implied. We hypothesized that receptor-interacting protein 1 (RIP1), a key kinase in necroptosis, acted as an upstream of Drp1-mediated mitochondrial fission during skeletal muscle IR.METHODS: Thirty rats were randomized into the SM, IR, NI, MI, and DI group (n = 6). The rats in the SM group were shamly operated, and those in the IR group were subjected to 4-hour ischemia of the right hindlimb that was followed by 4-hour reperfusion. Intraperitoneal administration of Nec-1 1 mg/kg, Mdivi-1 1.2 mg/kg and same volume of DMSO were given before ischemia in the NI, MI and DI groups, respectively. Upon reperfusion, the soleus muscles were harvested to determine morphological changes and the expression of RIP1, total Drp1 and p-Drp1 (Ser616). Moreover, the muscular oxidative stress indicators and plasma muscle damage biomarkers were detected.
    RESULTS: IR led to impaired histopathological structures and mitochondrial fragmentation in the soleus muscle tissue, accompanied with increased muscular oxidative stress and muscle injury biomarkers, which could be similarly alleviated by Mdivi-1 and Nec-1 (p < 0.05). RIP1 and p-Drp1 (Ser616) protein levels were significantly upregulated in the soleus muscle subjected to IR injury, this upregulation was attenuated in the NI group, and Mdivi-1 downregulated the protein expression of p-Drp1 (Ser616) but not of RIP1 (p < 0.05).
    CONCLUSION: RIP1 functions as an upstream of Drp1-mediated mitochondrial fission in the execution of necroptosis during skeletal muscle IR.
    Keywords:  Reperfusion injury; dynamin related protein-1; mitochondrial fission; necroptosis; receptor-interacting protein 1; skeletal muscle
  19. Cell Regen. 2022 Mar 07. 11(1): 8
      Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are important regulators of diverse biological processes, especially skeletal muscle cell differentiation. Most of the lncRNAs identified to date are localized in the nucleus and play regulatory roles in gene expression. The cytoplasmic lncRNAs are less well understood. We previously identified a long intergenic non-coding RNA (linc-RNA) activator of myogenesis (Linc-RAM) that directly binds MyoD in the nucleus to enhance muscle cell differentiation. Here, we report that a substantial fraction of Linc-RAM is localized in the cytoplasm of muscle cells. To explore the molecular functions of cytoplasmic Linc-RAM, we sought to identify Linc-RAM-binding proteins. We report here that Linc-RAM physically interacts with glycogen phosphorylase (PYGM) in the cytoplasm. Knockdown of PYGM significantly attenuates the function of Linc-RAM in promoting muscle cell differentiation. Loss-of-function and gain-of function assays demonstrated that PYGM enhances muscle cell differentiation in an enzymatic activity-dependent manner. Finally, we show that the interaction between Linc-RAM and PYGM positively regulates the enzymatic activity of PYGM in muscle cells. Collectively, our findings unveil a molecular mechanism through which cytoplasmic Linc-RAM contributes to muscle cell differentiation by regulating PYGM activity. Our findings establish that there is crosstalk between lncRNAs and cellular metabolism during myogenic cell differentiation.
    Keywords:  Cytoplasm; Glycogen phosphorylase; Linc-RAM; Long non-coding RNAs; Muscle cell differentiation
  20. J Physiol. 2022 Mar 12.
      A motor unit (MU) comprises the neuron cell body, its corresponding axon and each of the muscle fibres it innervates. Many studies highlight age-related reductions in the number of MUs, yet the ability of a MU to undergo remodelling and to expand to rescue denervated muscle fibres is also a defining feature of MU plasticity. Remodelling of MUs involves two coordinated processes; i) axonal sprouting and new branching growth from adjacent surviving neurons, and ii) the formation of key structures around the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) to resume muscle-nerve communication. These processes rely on neurotrophins and coordinated signalling in muscle-nerve interactions. To date, several neurotrophins have attracted focus in animal models, including brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and insulin-like growth factors I and II (IGF-I/II). Exercise in older age has demonstrated benefits in multiple physiological systems including skeletal muscle, yet evidence suggests this may also extend to peripheral MU remodelling. There is, however, a lack of research in humans due to methodological limitations which are easily surmountable in animal models. To improve mechanistic insight of the effects of exercise on MU remodelling with advancing age, future research should focus on combining methodological approaches to explore the in-vivo physiological function of the MU alongside alterations of the localised molecular environment. Abstract figure legend Ageing is associated with a loss of motoneurons which results in the denervation of motor unit muscle fibres and their inability to contract. Several lines of evidence from human and animal models have now highlighted the role of exercise in improving reinnervation capacity and the rescue of denervated fibres, presumably acting to preserve fibre number and total muscle function. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  ageing; axonal sprouting; exercise; motor unit; neuromuscular junction
  21. Redox Biol. 2022 Jan 29. pii: S2213-2317(22)00023-4. [Epub ahead of print]51 102251
      Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is characterised by descending skeletal muscle weakness and wasting. FSHD is caused by mis-expression of the transcription factor DUX4, which is linked to oxidative stress, a condition especially detrimental to skeletal muscle with its high metabolic activity and energy demands. Oxidative damage characterises FSHD and recent work suggests metabolic dysfunction and perturbed hypoxia signalling as novel pathomechanisms. However, redox biology of FSHD remains poorly understood, and integrating the complex dynamics of DUX4-induced metabolic changes is lacking. Here we pinpoint the kinetic involvement of altered mitochondrial ROS metabolism and impaired mitochondrial function in aetiology of oxidative stress in FSHD. Transcriptomic analysis in FSHD muscle biopsies reveals strong enrichment for pathways involved in mitochondrial complex I assembly, nitrogen metabolism, oxidative stress response and hypoxia signalling. We found elevated mitochondrial ROS (mitoROS) levels correlate with increases in steady-state mitochondrial membrane potential in FSHD myogenic cells. DUX4 triggers mitochondrial membrane polarisation prior to oxidative stress generation and apoptosis through mitoROS, and affects mitochondrial health through lipid peroxidation. We identify complex I as the primary target for DUX4-induced mitochondrial dysfunction, with strong correlation between complex I-linked respiration and cellular oxygenation/hypoxia signalling activity in environmental hypoxia. Thus, FSHD myogenesis is uniquely susceptible to hypoxia-induced oxidative stress as a consequence of metabolic mis-adaptation. Importantly, mitochondria-targeted antioxidants rescue FSHD pathology more effectively than conventional antioxidants, highlighting the central involvement of disturbed mitochondrial ROS metabolism. This work provides a pathomechanistic model by which DUX4-induced changes in oxidative metabolism impair muscle function in FSHD, amplified when metabolic adaptation to varying O2 tension is required.
    Keywords:  Antioxidants; DUX4; Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy; Hypoxia; Mitochondrial dysfunction; Reactive oxygen species
  22. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Mar 04. pii: 2808. [Epub ahead of print]23(5):
      The loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength/function, referred to as sarcopenia, is a pervasive feature of aging [...].
  23. Physiol Rep. 2022 Mar;10(5): e15217
      Small, non-coding RNAs (microRNAs) have been shown to regulate gene expression in response to exercise in various tissues and organs, thus possibly coordinating their adaptive response. Thus, it is likely that differential microRNA expression might be one of the factors that are responsible for different training responses of different individuals. Consequently, determining microRNA patterns might be a promising approach toward the development of individualized training strategies. However, little is known on (1) microRNA patterns and their regulation by different exercise regimens and (2) possible correlations between these patterns and individual training adaptation. Here, we present microarray data on skeletal muscle microRNA patterns in six young, female subjects before and after six weeks of either moderate-intensity continuous or high-intensity interval training on a bicycle ergometer. Our data show that n = 36 different microRNA species were regulated more than twofold in this cohort (n = 28 upregulated and n = 8 downregulated). In addition, we correlated baseline microRNA patterns with individual changes in VO2 max and identified some specific microRNAs that might be promising candidates for further testing and evaluation in the future, which might eventually lead to the establishment of microRNA marker panels that will allow individual recommendations for specific exercise regimens.
    Keywords:  individual training adaptation; microRNAs; physical exercise; skeletal muscle
  24. Front Physiol. 2022 ;13 706003
      Skeletal muscle plays a major role in controlling body mass and metabolism: it is the most abundant tissue of the body and a major source of humoral factors; in addition, it is primarily responsible for glucose uptake and storage, as well as for protein metabolism. Muscle acts as a metabolic hub, in a crosstalk with other organs and tissues, such as the liver, the brain, and fat tissue. Cytokines, adipokines, and myokines are pivotal mediators of such crosstalk. Many of these circulating factors modulate histone deacetylase (HDAC) expression and/or activity. HDACs form a numerous family of enzymes, divided into four classes based on their homology to their orthologs in yeast. Eleven family members are considered classic HDACs, with a highly conserved deacetylase domain, and fall into Classes I, II, and IV, while class III members are named Sirtuins and are structurally and mechanistically distinct from the members of the other classes. HDACs are key regulators of skeletal muscle metabolism, both in physiological conditions and following metabolic stress, participating in the highly dynamic adaptative responses of the muscle to external stimuli. In turn, HDAC expression and activity are closely regulated by the metabolic demands of the skeletal muscle. For instance, NAD+ levels link Class III (Sirtuin) enzymatic activity to the energy status of the cell, and starvation or exercise affect Class II HDAC stability and intracellular localization. SUMOylation or phosphorylation of Class II HDACs are modulated by circulating factors, thus establishing a bidirectional link between HDAC activity and endocrine, paracrine, and autocrine factors. Indeed, besides being targets of adipo-myokines, HDACs affect the synthesis of myokines by skeletal muscle, altering the composition of the humoral milieu and ultimately contributing to the muscle functioning as an endocrine organ. In this review, we discuss recent findings on the interplay between HDACs and circulating factors, in relation to skeletal muscle metabolism and its adaptative response to energy demand. We believe that enhancing knowledge on the specific functions of HDACs may have clinical implications leading to the use of improved HDAC inhibitors for the treatment of metabolic syndromes or aging.
    Keywords:  HDAC inhibitors (HDACi); HDACs; epigenetics; soluble factors; tissue crosstalk
  25. Stem Cells. 2022 Jan 19. pii: sxab012. [Epub ahead of print]
      The N-terminal caveolin-binding motif (CBM) in Na/K-ATPase (NKA) α1 subunit is essential for cell signaling and somitogenesis in animals. To further investigate the molecular mechanism, we have generated CBM mutant human-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) through CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing and examined their ability to differentiate into skeletal muscle (Skm) cells. Compared with the parental wild-type human iPSCs, the CBM mutant cells lost their ability of Skm differentiation, which was evidenced by the absence of spontaneous cell contraction, marker gene expression, and subcellular myofiber banding structures in the final differentiated induced Skm cells. Another NKA functional mutant, A420P, which lacks NKA/Src signaling function, did not produce a similar defect. Indeed, A420P mutant iPSCs retained intact pluripotency and ability of Skm differentiation. Mechanistically, the myogenic transcription factor MYOD was greatly suppressed by the CBM mutation. Overexpression of a mouse Myod cDNA through lentiviral delivery restored the CBM mutant cells' ability to differentiate into Skm. Upstream of MYOD, Wnt signaling was demonstrated from the TOPFlash assay to have a similar inhibition. This effect on Wnt activity was further confirmed functionally by defective induction of the presomitic mesoderm marker genes BRACHYURY (T) and MESOGENIN1 (MSGN1) by Wnt3a ligand or the GSK3 inhibitor/Wnt pathway activator CHIR. Further investigation through immunofluorescence imaging and cell fractionation revealed a shifted membrane localization of β-catenin in CBM mutant iPSCs, revealing a novel molecular component of NKA-Wnt regulation. This study sheds light on a genetic regulation of myogenesis through the CBM of NKA and control of Wnt/β-catenin signaling.
    Keywords:  Na/K-ATPase; Src; Wnt/β-catenin; caveolin-binding motif; human-induced pluripotent stem cells; skeletal muscle cells
  26. Sci Rep. 2022 Mar 08. 12(1): 3756
      Among the mutations arising in the DMD gene and causing Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), 10-15% are multi-exon duplications. There are no current therapeutic approaches with the ability to excise large multi-exon duplications, leaving this patient cohort without mutation-specific treatment. Using CRISPR/Cas9 could provide a valid alternative to achieve targeted excision of genomic duplications of any size. Here we show that the expression of a single CRISPR/Cas9 nuclease targeting a genomic region within a DMD duplication can restore the production of wild-type dystrophin in vitro. We assessed the extent of dystrophin repair following both constitutive and transient nuclease expression by either transducing DMD patient-derived myoblasts with integrating lentiviral vectors or electroporating them with CRISPR/Cas9 expressing plasmids. Comparing genomic, transcript and protein data, we observed that both continuous and transient nuclease expression resulted in approximately 50% dystrophin protein restoration in treated myoblasts. Our data demonstrate that a high transient expression profile of Cas9 circumvents its requirement of continuous expression within the cell for targeting DMD duplications. This proof-of-concept study therefore helps progress towards a clinically relevant gene editing strategy for in vivo dystrophin restoration, by highlighting important considerations for optimizing future therapeutic approaches.
  27. J Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle. 2022 Mar 07.
      BACKGROUND: Aging is associated with a progressive decline in skeletal muscle mass and strength as well as an increase in adiposity. These changes may have devastating impact on the quality of life of older adults. Mitochondrial dysfunctions have been implicated in aging-related and obesity-related deterioration of muscle function. Impairments in mitochondrial quality control processes (biogenesis, fusion, fission, and mitophagy) may underlie this accumulation of mitochondrial dysfunction. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) was shown to improve muscle and mitochondrial function in healthy young and old adults and to improve body composition in obese older adults. Recent studies also positioned citrulline (CIT) supplementation as a promising intervention to counter obesity-related and aging-related muscle dysfunction. In the present study, our objectives were to assess whether HIIT, alone or with CIT, improves muscle function, functional capacities, adipose tissue gene expression, and mitochondrial quality control processes in obese older adults.METHODS: Eighty-one-old and obese participants underwent a 12 week HIIT with or without CIT on an elliptical trainer [HIIT-CIT: 20 men/25 women, 67.2 ± 5.0 years; HIIT-placebo (PLA): 18 men/18 women, 68.1 ± 4.1 years]. Handgrip and quadriceps strength, lower limb muscle power, body composition, waist circumference, and functional capacities were assessed pre and post intervention. Vastus lateralis muscle biopsies were performed in a subset of participants to quantify markers of mitochondrial content (TOM20 and OXPHOS subunits), biogenesis (TFAM), fusion (MFN1&2, OPA1), fission (DRP1), and mitophagy (Parkin). Subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue biopsies were also performed to assess the expression of genes involved in lipid metabolism.
    RESULTS: HIIT-PLA and HIIT-CIT displayed improvements in functional capacities (P < 0.05), total (mean ± SD: HIIT-PLA: +1.27 ± 3.19%, HIIT-CIT: +1.05 ± 2.91%, P < 0.05) and leg lean mass (HIIT-PLA: +1.62 ± 3.85%, HIIT-CIT: +1.28 ± 4.82%, P < 0.05), waist circumference (HIIT-PLA: -2.2 ± 2.9 cm, HIIT-CIT: -2.6 ± 2.5 cm, P < 0.05), and muscle power (HIIT-PLA: +15.81 ± 18.02%, HIIT-CIT: +14.62 ± 20.02%, P < 0.05). Only HIIT-CIT decreased fat mass (-1.04 ± 2.42%, P < 0.05) and increased handgrip and quadriceps strength (+4.28 ± 9.36% and +10.32 ± 14.38%, respectively, P < 0.05). Both groups increased markers of muscle mitochondrial content, mitochondrial fusion, and mitophagy (P < 0.05). Only HIIT-CIT decreased the expression of the lipid droplet-associated protein CIDEA (P < 0.001).
    CONCLUSIONS: High-intensity interval training is effective in improving functional capacities, lean mass, muscle power, and waist circumference in obese older adults. HIIT also increases markers of mitochondrial biogenesis, mitochondrial fusion, and mitophagy. Importantly, adding CIT to HIIT results in a greater increase in muscle strength and a significant decrease in fat mass. The present study therefore positions HIIT combined with CIT as an effective intervention to improve the health status of obese older adults.
    Keywords:  Aging; Exercise; Gene expression; High-intensity interval training; Mitochondrial dynamics; Mitochondrial quality control; Mitophagy; Mobility; Nutrition; Obesity; Sarcopenia
  28. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Feb 27. pii: 2624. [Epub ahead of print]23(5):
      BMD is characterized by a marked heterogeneity of gene mutations resulting in many abnormal dystrophin proteins with different expression and residual functions. The smaller dystrophin molecules lacking a portion around exon 48 of the rod domain, named the D8 region, are related to milder phenotypes. The study aimed to determine which proteins might contribute to preserving muscle function in these patients. Patients were subdivided, based on the absence or presence of deletions in the D8 region, into two groups, BMD1 and BMD2. Muscle extracts were analyzed by 2-D DIGE, label-free LC-ESI-MS/MS, and Ingenuity pathway analysis (IPA). Increased levels of proteins typical of fast fibers and of proteins involved in the sarcomere reorganization characterize BMD2. IPA of proteomics datasets indicated in BMD2 prevalence of glycolysis and gluconeogenesis and a correct flux through the TCA cycle enabling them to maintain both metabolism and epithelial adherens junction. A 2-D DIGE analysis revealed an increase of acetylated proteoforms of moonlighting proteins aldolase, enolase, and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase that can target the nucleus promoting stem cell recruitment and muscle regeneration. In BMD2, immunoblotting indicated higher levels of myogenin and lower levels of PAX7 and SIRT1/2 associated with a set of proteins identified by proteomics as involved in muscle homeostasis maintenance.
    Keywords:  2-D DIGE; LC-ESI-MS/MS; muscle dystrophy; muscle regeneration; muscle–bone interaction; sarcopenia
  29. Front Immunol. 2022 ;13 748375
      A Krebs cycle intermediate metabolite, itaconate, has gained attention as a potential antimicrobial and autoimmune disease treatment due to its anti-inflammatory effects. While itaconate and its derivatives pose an attractive therapeutic option for the treatment of inflammatory diseases, the effects outside the immune system still remain limited, particularly in the muscle. Therefore, we endeavored to determine if itaconate signaling impacts muscle differentiation. Utilizing the well-established C2C12 model of in vitro myogenesis, we evaluated the effects of itaconate and its derivatives on transcriptional and protein markers of muscle differentiation as well as mitochondrial function. We found itaconate and the derivatives dimethyl itaconate and 4-octyl itaconate disrupt differentiation media-induced myogenesis. A primary biological effect of itaconate is a succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) inhibitor. We find the SDH inhibitors dimethyl malonate and harzianopyridone phenocopie the anti-myogenic effects of itaconate. Furthermore, we find treatment with exogenous succinate results in blunted myogenesis. Together our data indicate itaconate and its derivatives interfere with in vitro myogenesis, potentially through inhibition of SDH and subsequent succinate accumulation. We also show 4-octyl itaconate suppresses injury-induced MYOG expression in vivo. More importantly, our findings suggest the therapeutic potential of itaconate, and its derivatives could be limited due to deleterious effects on myogenesis.
    Keywords:  C2C12; itaconate; myogenesis; succinate; succinate dehydrogenase
  30. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Mar 05. pii: 2848. [Epub ahead of print]23(5):
      Statins are the most effective therapeutic agents for reducing cholesterol synthesis. Given their widespread use, many adverse effects from statins have been reported; of these, musculoskeletal complications occurred in 15% of patients after receiving statins for 6 months, and simvastatin was the most commonly administered statin among these cases. This study investigated the negative effects of simvastatin on skeletal muscle cells. We performed RNA sequencing analysis to determine gene expression in simvastatin-treated cells. Cell proliferation and migration were examined through cell cycle analysis and the transwell filter migration assay, respectively. Cytoskeleton rearrangement was examined through F-actin and tubulin staining. Western blot analysis was performed to determine the expression of cell cycle-regulated and cytoskeleton-related proteins. Transfection of small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) was performed to validate the role of cofilin and stathmin in the simvastatin-mediated inhibition of cell migration. The results revealed that simvastatin inhibited the proliferation and migration of skeletal muscle cells and affected the rearrangement of F-actin and tubulin. Simvastatin reduced the expression of cofilin and stathmin. The knockdown of both cofilin and stathmin by specific siRNA synergistically impaired cell migration. In conclusion, our results indicated that simvastatin inhibited skeletal muscle cell migration by reducing the expressions of cofilin and stathmin.
    Keywords:  cell migration; cell proliferation; cofilin; simvastatin; skeletal muscle cells; stathmin
  31. Biogerontology. 2022 Mar 07.
      Sarcopenia is a significant public health and medical concern confronting the elderly. Considerable research is being directed to identify ways in which the onset and severity of sarcopenia may be delayed/minimized. This paper provides a detailed identification and assessment of hormetic dose responses in animal model muscle stem cells, with particular emphasis on cell proliferation, differentiation, and enhancing resilience to inflammatory stresses and how this information may be useful in preventing sarcopenia. Hormetic dose responses were observed following administration of a broad range of agents, including dietary supplements (e.g., resveratrol), pharmaceuticals (e.g., dexamethasone), endogenous ligands (e.g., tumor necrosis factor α), environmental contaminants (e.g., cadmium) and physical agents (e.g., low level laser). The paper assesses both putative mechanisms of hormetic responses in muscle stem cells, and potential therapeutic implications and application(s) of hormetic frameworks for slowing muscle loss and reduced functionality during the aging process.
    Keywords:  Aging; Cell proliferation; Hormesis; Muscle stem cells; Sarcopenia; Stem cells
  32. J Biochem Mol Toxicol. 2022 Mar 07. e23030
      Aging is accompanied by major changes in body composition that can negatively affect functional status in older adults, including a progressive decrease in muscle mass, strength, and quality. The prevalence of sarcopenia has varied considerably, depending on the definition used and the population surveyed-a 2014 meta-analysis across several countries found estimates ranging from 1% to 29% for people aged 60 years or older, who live independently. The potentially relevant studies were retrieved from the ScienceDirect/Medline/PubMed/Public library of science/Mendeley/Springer link and Google Scholar. Multiple keywords were used for the literature search both alone and in combination. Some of the important keywords used for literature search were as follows: "Epidemiology of muscle weakness/muscle disorders," "Pathogenesis of RAAS in muscle weakness," "Role of Angiotensin 1-7/ACE-2/Mas R axis in muscle weakness," and "Correction pathophysiology of muscle weakness via ACE2." The renin-angiotensin system (RAAS), a major blood pressure regulatory system, is a candidate mediator that may promote aging-associated muscle weakness. Previously, studies explored the proof concept for RAAS inhibition as a therapeutic target. Furthermore, in RAAS, angiotensin II, and angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) have been reported to induce endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress via glucose-regulated protein 78/eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2α (eIF2α)/activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4)/CHOP axis in the liver. In addition, other mitochondria and ER physical interactions contribute to skeletal muscle dysfunction. However, very few studies have investigated the relationship between RAAS and ER stress-associated pathophysiological events and ACE2-mediated biological consequences in muscle weakness. Thus, the study has been designed to investigate the RAAS-independent beneficial role of ACE2 in muscle weakness.
    Keywords:  ACE2; ER stress; Mas receptor; angiotensin 1-7; angiotensin 1-7/Mas receptor axis; renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system
  33. J Physiol Sci. 2022 Mar 09. 72(1): 6
      We investigated the protective effect of losartan, an angiotensin II type 1 receptor blocker, on soleus muscle atrophy. Age-matched male and female Wistar rats were subjected to hindlimb unloading, and the soleus muscle was removed on days 1 and 7 for analysis. Females showed greater reductions in relative weight and myofiber cross-sectional area of the soleus muscle than males on day 7 post-hindlimb unloading. Losartan partially protected females against muscle atrophy. Activation of the canonical TGF-β signaling pathway, assessed via Smad2/3 phosphorylation, was lower in females following losartan treatment and associated with lower levels of protein ubiquitination after 1 (myofibril) and 7 (cytosol) days of unloading. However, no effect was observed in non-canonical TGF-β signaling (p44/p42 and p38 MAPK phosphorylation) in males or females during unloading. Our results suggest that losartan provides partial protection against hindlimb unloading-induced soleus muscle atrophy in female rats, possibly associated with decreased canonical TGF-β signaling.
    Keywords:  Angiotensin receptor blocker; Hindlimb unweighting; Muscular atrophy; Sex difference; TGF-β signaling
  34. PLoS One. 2022 ;17(3): e0265221
      BACKGROUND: Sarcopenia is characterized by the age-associated loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength that develops progressively and plays an important role in the disability of the elderly. It has received growing attention over the last decade and has been implicated as both a cause and consequence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The existence of T2DM could increase the risk of developing sarcopenia through multiple mechanisms including advanced glycation end-product accumulation. Meanwhile, sarcopenia would alter glucose disposal and may contribute to the development and progression of T2DM due to reduced muscle mass.METHODS: We implemented transcriptomic analysis of skeletal muscle biopsy specimens in sarcopenia patients and proliferating myoblasts or differentiated myotubes from individuals with T2DM. Related microarray data were selected from Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) to screen the genes, which were differentially expressed for sarcopenia and T2DM. Multiple combinatorial statistical methods and bioinformatics tools were used to analyze the common DEGs. Meanwhile, functional enrichment analysis was also carried out. Furthermore, we constructed the protein-protein interaction (PPI), as well as transcription factor (TF)-gene interactions network and TF-miRNA coregulatory network. Finally, based on the common DEGs, drug compounds were speculated using the Drug Signatures database (DSigDB).
    RESULTS: A total of 1765 and 2155 DEGs of sarcopenia and T2DM were screened, respectively. 15 common genes (LXN, CIB2, PEA15, KANK2, FGD1, NMRK1, PLCB1, SEMA4G, ADARB1, UPF3A, CSTB, COL3A1, CD99, ETV3, FJX1) correlated with sarcopenia and T2DM simultaneously were then identified, and 3 genes (UPF3A, CSTB and PEA15) of them were regarded as hub genes. Functional enrichment analysis revealed several shared pathways between two diseases. In addition, according to the TF-gene interactions network and TF-miRNA coregulatory network, part of TF and miRNA may be identified as key regulator in sarcopenia and T2DM at the same time (e.g., CREM and miR-155). Notably, drug compounds for T2DM and sarcopenia were also suggested, such as coenzyme Q10.
    CONCLUSION: This study revealed that sarcopenia and T2DM may share similar pathogenesis and provided new biological targets and ideas for early diagnosis and effective treatment of sarcopenia and T2DM.
  35. Curr Aging Sci. 2022 Mar 04.
      Sarcopenia is an emerging clinical entity characterized by a gradual decline in skeletal muscle mass and strength that accompanies the normal aging process. It has been noted that sarcopenia is associated with various adverse health outcomes in the geriatric population like prolonged hospital admission, disability, poor quality of life, frailty, and mortality. Factors involved in the development of age-related sarcopenia include anorexia, alteration in the hormone levels, decreased neural innervation, low blood flow to the muscles, cytokine dysregulation, altered mitochondrial activity, genomic instability, intracellular proteolysis, and insulin resistance. Understanding the mechanism may help develop efficient preventive and therapeutic strategies which can improve the quality of life in elderly individuals. Thus, the objective of the present article is to review the literature regarding the mechanism involved in the development of sarcopenia in aged individuals.
    Keywords:  Sarcopenia; aging; anorexia; frailty; insulin resistance; skeletal muscle
  36. Sci Rep. 2022 Mar 10. 12(1): 3945
      Although Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) primarily affects muscle tissues, the alterations to systemic metabolism manifested in DMD patients contribute to the severe phenotype of this fatal disorder. We propose that microRNA-378a (miR-378) alters carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in dystrophic mdx mice. In our study, we utilized double knockout animals which lacked both dystrophin and miR-378 (mdx/miR-378-/-). RNA sequencing of the liver identified 561 and 194 differentially expressed genes that distinguished mdx versus wild-type (WT) and mdx/miR-378-/- versus mdx counterparts, respectively. Bioinformatics analysis predicted, among others, carbohydrate metabolism disorder in dystrophic mice, as functionally proven by impaired glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. The lack of miR-378 in mdx animals mitigated those effects with a faster glucose clearance in a glucose tolerance test (GTT) and normalization of liver glycogen levels. The absence of miR-378 also restored the expression of genes regulating lipid homeostasis, such as Acly, Fasn, Gpam, Pnpla3, and Scd1. In conclusion, we report for the first time that miR-378 loss results in increased systemic metabolism of mdx mice. Together with our previous finding, demonstrating alleviation of the muscle-related symptoms of DMD, we propose that the inhibition of miR-378 may represent a new strategy to attenuate the multifaceted symptoms of DMD.