Increased superoxide in vivo accelerates age-associated muscle atrophy through mitochondrial dysfunction and neuromuscular junction degeneration.
ABSTRACT: Oxidative stress has been implicated in the etiology of age-related muscle loss (sarcopenia). However, the underlying mechanisms by which oxidative stress contributes to sarcopenia have not been thoroughly investigated. To directly examine the role of chronic oxidative stress in vivo, we used a mouse model that lacks the antioxidant enzyme CuZnSOD (Sod1). Sod1(-/-) mice are characterized by high levels of oxidative damage and an acceleration of sarcopenia. In the present study, we demonstrate that muscle atrophy in Sod1(-/-) mice is accompanied by a progressive decline in mitochondrial bioenergetic function and an elevation of mitochondrial generation of reactive oxygen species. In addition, Sod1(-/-) muscle exhibits a more rapid induction of mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis and loss of myonuclei. Furthermore, aged Sod1(-/-) mice show a striking increase in muscle mitochondrial content near the neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). Despite the increase in content, the function of mitochondria is significantly impaired, with increased denervated NMJs and fragmentation of acetylcholine receptors. As a consequence, contractile force in aged Sod1(-/-) muscles is greatly diminished. Collectively, we show that Sod1(-/-) mice display characteristics of normal aging muscle in an accelerated manner and propose that the superoxide-induced NMJ degeneration and mitochondrial dysfunction are potential mechanisms of sarcopenia.
Project description:Age-associated loss of muscle mass and function (sarcopenia) has a profound effect on the quality of life in the elderly. Our previous studies show that CuZnSOD deletion in mice (Sod1<sup>-/-</sup> mice) recapitulates sarcopenia phenotypes, including elevated oxidative stress and accelerated muscle atrophy, weakness, and disruption of neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). To determine whether deletion of Sod1 initiated in neurons in adult mice is sufficient to induce muscle atrophy, we treated young (2- to 4-month-old) Sod1flox/SlickHCre mice with tamoxifen to generate i-mn-Sod1KO mice. CuZnSOD protein was 40-50% lower in neuronal tissue in i-mn-Sod1KO mice. Motor neuron number in ventral spinal cord was reduced 28% at 10 months and more than 50% in 18- to 22-month-old i-mn-Sod1KO mice. By 24 months, 22% of NMJs in i-mn-Sod1KO mice displayed a complete lack of innervation and deficits in specific force that are partially reversed by direct muscle stimulation, supporting the loss of NMJ structure and function. Muscle mass was significantly reduced by 16 months of age and further decreased at 24 months of age. Overall, our findings show that neuronal-specific deletion of CuZnSOD is sufficient to cause motor neuron loss in young mice, but that NMJ disruption, muscle atrophy, and weakness are not evident until past middle age. These results suggest that loss of innervation is critical but may not be sufficient until the muscle reaches a threshold beyond which it cannot compensate for neuronal loss or rescue additional fibers past the maximum size of the motor unit.
Project description:Age-related loss of muscle mass and function, sarcopenia, has a major impact on the quality of life in the elderly. Among the proposed causes of sarcopenia are mitochondrial dysfunction and accumulated oxidative damage during aging. Dietary restriction (DR), a robust dietary intervention that extends lifespan and modulates age-related pathology in a variety of species, has been shown to protect from sarcopenia in rodents. Although the mechanism(s) by which DR modulates aging are still not defined, one potential mechanism is through modulation of oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction. To directly test the protective effect of DR against oxidative stress-induced muscle atrophy in vivo, we subjected mice lacking a key antioxidant enzyme, CuZnSOD (Sod1) to DR (60% of ad libitum fed diet). We have previously shown that the Sod1(-/-) mice exhibit an acceleration of sarcopenia associated with high oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and severe neuromuscular innervation defects. Despite the dramatic atrophy phenotype in the Sod1(-/-) mice, DR led to a reversal or attenuation of reduced muscle function, loss of innervation, and muscle atrophy in these mice. DR improves mitochondrial function as evidenced by enhanced Ca2+ regulation and reduction of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS). Furthermore, we show upregulation of SIRT3 and MnSOD in DR animals, consistent with reduced mitochondrial oxidative stress and reduced oxidative damage in muscle tissue measured as F2-isoprostanes. Collectively, our results demonstrate that DR is a powerful mediator of mitochondrial function, mitochondrial ROS production, and oxidative damage, providing a solid protection against oxidative stress-induced neuromuscular defects and muscle atrophy in vivo even under conditions of high oxidative stress.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Oxidative stress and damage are associated with a number of ageing phenotypes, including age-related loss of muscle mass and reduced contractile function (sarcopenia). Our group and others have reported loss of neuromuscular junction (NMJ) integrity and increased denervation as initiating factors in sarcopenia, leading to mitochondrial dysfunction, generation of reactive oxygen species and peroxides, and loss of muscle mass and weakness. Previous studies from our laboratory show that denervation-induced skeletal muscle mitochondrial peroxide generation is highly correlated to muscle atrophy. Here, we directly test the impact of scavenging muscle mitochondrial hydrogen peroxide on the structure and function of the NMJ and muscle mass and function in a mouse model of denervation-induced muscle atrophy CuZnSOD (Sod1<sup>-/-</sup> mice, Sod1KO).<h4>Methods</h4>Whole-body Sod1KO mice were crossed to mice with increased expression of human catalase (MCAT) targeted specifically to mitochondria in skeletal muscle (mMCAT mice) to determine the impact of reduced hydrogen peroxide levels on key targets of sarcopenia, including mitochondrial function, NMJ structure and function, and indices of muscle mass and function.<h4>Results</h4>Female adult (~12-month-old) Sod1KO mice show a number of sarcopenia-related phenotypes in skeletal muscle including reduced mitochondrial oxygen consumption and elevated reactive oxygen species generation, fragmentation, and loss of innervated NMJs (P < 0.05), a 30% reduction in muscle mass (P < 0.05), a 36% loss of force generation (P < 0.05), and a loss of exercise capacity (305 vs. 709 m in wild-type mice, P < 0.05). Muscle from Sod1KO mice also shows a 35% reduction in sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum ATPase activity (P < 0.05), changes in the amount of calcium-regulating proteins, and altered fibre-type composition. In contrast, increased catalase expression in the mMCAT × Sod1KO mice completely prevents the mitochondrial and NMJ-related phenotypes and maintains muscle mass and force generation. The reduction in exercise capacity is also partially inhibited (~35%, P < 0.05), and the loss of fibre cross-sectional area is inhibited by ~50% (P < 0.05).<h4>Conclusions</h4>Together, these striking findings suggest that scavenging of mitochondrial peroxide generation by mMCAT expression efficiently prevents mitochondrial dysfunction and NMJ disruption associated with denervation-induced atrophy and weakness, supporting mitochondrial H<sub>2</sub> O<sub>2</sub> as an important effector of NMJ alterations that lead to phenotypes associated with sarcopenia.
Project description:The maintenance of skeletal muscle mass depends on the overall balance between the rates of protein synthesis and degradation. Thus, age-related muscle atrophy and function, commonly known as sarcopenia, may result from decreased protein synthesis, increased proteolysis, or simultaneous changes in both processes governed by complex multifactorial mechanisms. Growing evidence implicates oxidative stress and reactive oxygen species (ROS) as an essential regulator of proteolysis. Our previous studies have shown that genetic deletion of CuZn superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD, Sod1) in mice leads to elevated oxidative stress, muscle atrophy and weakness, and an acceleration in age-related phenotypes associated with sarcopenia. The goal of this study is to determine whether oxidative stress directly influences the acceleration of proteolysis in skeletal muscle of Sod1<sup>-/-</sup> mice as a function of age. Compared to control, Sod1<sup>-/-</sup> muscle showed a significant elevation in protein carbonyls and 3-nitrotyrosine levels, suggesting high oxidative and nitrosative protein modifications were present. In addition, age-dependent muscle atrophy in Sod1<sup>-/-</sup> muscle was accompanied by an upregulation of the cysteine proteases, calpain, and caspase-3, which are known to play a key role in the initial breakdown of sarcomeres during atrophic conditions. Furthermore, an increase in oxidative stress-induced muscle atrophy was also strongly coupled with simultaneous activation of two major proteolytic systems, the ubiquitin-proteasome and lysosomal autophagy pathways. Collectively, our data suggest that chronic oxidative stress in Sod1<sup>-/-</sup> mice accelerates age-dependent muscle atrophy by enhancing coordinated activation of the proteolytic systems, thereby resulting in overall protein degradation.
Project description:<h4>Aims</h4>Lack of Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD) in homozygous knockout mice (Sod1<sup>-/-</sup>) leads to accelerated age-related muscle loss and weakness, but specific deletion of CuZnSOD in skeletal muscle (mSod1KO mice) or neurons (nSod1KO mice) resulted in only mild muscle functional deficits and failed to recapitulate the loss of mass and function observed in Sod1<sup>-/-</sup> mice. To dissect any underlying cross-talk between motor neurons and skeletal muscle in the degeneration in Sod1<sup>-/-</sup> mice, we characterized neuromuscular changes in the Sod1<sup>-/-</sup> model compared with mSod1KO mice and examined degenerative molecular mechanisms and pathways in peripheral nerve and skeletal muscle.<h4>Results</h4>In contrast to mSod1KO mice, myofiber atrophy in Sod1<sup>-/-</sup> mice was associated with increased muscle oxidative damage, neuromuscular junction degeneration, denervation, nerve demyelination, and upregulation of proteins involved in maintenance of myelin sheaths. Proteomic analyses confirmed increased proteasomal activity and adaptive stress responses in muscle of Sod1<sup>-/-</sup> mice that were absent in mSod1KO mice. Peripheral nerve from neither Sod1<sup>-/-</sup> nor mSod1KO mice showed increased oxidative damage or molecular responses to increased oxidation compared with wild type mice. Differential cysteine (Cys) labeling revealed a specific redox shift in the catalytic Cys residue of peroxiredoxin 6 (Cys47) in the peripheral nerve from Sod1<sup>-/-</sup> mice. Innovation and Conclusion: These findings demonstrate that neuromuscular integrity, redox mechanisms, and pathways are differentially altered in nerve and muscle of Sod1<sup>-/-</sup> and mSod1KO mice. Results support the concept that impaired redox signaling, rather than oxidative damage, in peripheral nerve plays a key role in muscle loss in Sod1<sup>-/-</sup> mice and potentially sarcopenia during aging. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 28, 275-295.
Project description:We have previously shown that deletion of CuZnSOD in mice (Sod1(-/-) mice) leads to accelerated loss of muscle mass and contractile force during aging. To dissect the relative roles of skeletal muscle and motor neurons in this process, we used a Cre-Lox targeted approach to establish a skeletal muscle-specific Sod1-knockout (mKO) mouse to determine whether muscle-specific CuZnSOD deletion is sufficient to cause muscle atrophy. Surprisingly, mKO mice maintain muscle masses at or above those of wild-type control mice up to 18 mo of age. In contrast, maximum isometric specific force measured in gastrocnemius muscle is significantly reduced in the mKO mice. We found no detectable increases in global measures of oxidative stress or ROS production, no reduction in mitochondrial ATP production, and no induction of adaptive stress responses in muscle from mKO mice. However, Akt-mTOR signaling is elevated and the number of muscle fibers with centrally located nuclei is increased in skeletal muscle from mKO mice, which suggests elevated regenerative pathways. Our data demonstrate that lack of CuZnSOD restricted to skeletal muscle does not lead to muscle atrophy but does cause muscle weakness in adult mice and suggest loss of CuZnSOD may potentiate muscle regenerative pathways.
Project description:Mice lacking the superoxide anion scavenger CuZn superoxide dismutase (Sod1-/- mice) develop a number of age-related phenotypes, including an early progression of muscle atrophy and weakness (sarcopenia) associated with loss of innervation. The purpose of this study was to delineate the early development of sarcopenia in the Sod1-/- mice and to measure changes in the muscle transcriptome, proteome, and eicosanoid profile at the stage when sarcopenia is markedly induced in this model (7-9 months of age). We found a strong correlation between muscle atrophy and mitochondrial state 1 hydroperoxide production, which was 40% higher in isolated mitochondria from Sod1-/- mouse gastrocnemius muscle by 2 months of age. The primary pathways showing altered gene expression in Sod1-/- mice identified by RNA-seq transcriptomic analysis are protein ubiquitination, synaptic long-term potentiation, calcium signaling, phospholipase C signaling, AMPK, and TWEAK signaling. Targeted proteomics shows elevated expression of mitochondrial proteins, fatty acid metabolism enzymes, tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle enzymes, and antioxidants, while enzymes involved in carbohydrate metabolism are downregulated in Sod1-/- mice. LC-MS analysis of lipids in gastrocnemius muscle detected 78 eicosanoids, of which 31 are significantly elevated in muscle from Sod1-/- mice. These data suggest that mitochondrial hydroperoxide generation is elevated prior to muscle atrophy and may be a potential driving factor of changes in the transcriptome, proteome, and eicosanoid profile of the Sod1-/- mice. Together, these analyses revealed important molecular events that occur during muscle atrophy, which will pave the way for future studies using new approaches to treat sarcopenia.
Project description:Apoptosis Inducing Factor (AIF) is a highly conserved, ubiquitous flavoprotein localized in the mitochondrial intermembrane space. In vivo, AIF provides protection against neuronal and cardiomyocyte apoptosis induced by oxidative stress. Conversely in vitro, AIF has been demonstrated to have a pro-apoptotic role upon induction of the mitochondrial death pathway, once AIF translocates to the nucleus where it facilitates chromatin condensation and large scale DNA fragmentation. Given that the aif hypomorphic harlequin (Hq) mutant mouse model displays severe sarcopenia, we examined skeletal muscle from the aif hypomorphic mice in more detail. Adult AIF-deficient skeletal myofibers display oxidative stress and a severe form of atrophy, associated with a loss of myonuclei and a fast to slow fiber type switch, both in "slow" muscles such as soleus, as well as in "fast" muscles such as extensor digitorum longus, most likely resulting from an increase of MEF2 activity. This fiber type switch was conserved in regenerated soleus and EDL muscles of Hq mice subjected to cardiotoxin injection. In addition, muscle regeneration in soleus and EDL muscles of Hq mice was severely delayed. Freshly cultured myofibers, soleus and EDL muscle sections from Hq mice displayed a decreased satellite cell pool, which could be rescued by pretreating aif hypomorphic mice with the manganese-salen free radical scavenger EUK-8. Satellite cell activation seems to be abnormally long in Hq primary culture compared to controls. However, AIF deficiency did not affect myoblast cell proliferation and differentiation. Thus, AIF protects skeletal muscles against oxidative stress-induced damage probably by protecting satellite cells against oxidative stress and maintaining skeletal muscle stem cell number and activation.
Project description:Genetic ablation of CuZn-superoxide dismutase (Sod1) in mice (Sod1(-/-) mice) leads to shortened lifespan with a dramatic increase in hepatocellular carcinoma and accelerated aging phenotypes, including early onset sarcopenia. To study the tissue specific effects of oxidative stress in the Sod1(-/-) mice, we generated mice that only express the human SOD1 gene specifically in the liver of Sod1(-/-) mice (Sod1(-/-)/hSOD1(alb) mice). Expression of hSOD1 in the liver of Sod1(-/-) mice improved liver function, reduced oxidative damage in liver, and partially restored the expression of several genes involved in tumorigenesis, which are abnormally expressed in the livers of the Sod1(-/-) mice. However, liver specific expression of hSOD1 did not prevent the loss of body weight and muscle mass and alterations in the structure of neuromuscular junctions. The expression of hSOD1 in the liver of Sod1(-/-) mice significantly improved the lifespan of Sod1(-/-) mice; however, the lifespan of the Sod1(-/-)/hSOD1(alb) mice was still significantly shorter than wild type mice.
Project description:Sarcopenia is an important health problem associated with adverse outcomes. Although the etiology of sarcopenia remains poorly understood, factors apart from muscle fibers, including humoral factors, might be involved. Here, we used cytokine antibody arrays to identify humoral factors involved in sarcopenia and found a significant increase in levels of milk fat globule epidermal growth factor 8 (MFG-E8) in skeletal muscle of aged mice, compared with young mice. We found that the increase in MFG-E8 protein at arterial walls and neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) in muscles of aged mice. High levels of MFG-E8 at NMJs and an age-related increase in arterial MFG-E8 have also been identified in human skeletal muscle. In NMJs, MFG-E8 is localized on the surface of terminal Schwann cells, which are important accessory cells for the maintenance of NMJs. We found that increased MFG-E8 at NMJs precedes age-related denervation and is more prominent in sarcopenia-susceptible fast-twitch than in sarcopenia-resistant slow-twitch muscle. Comparison between fast and slow muscles further revealed that arterial MFG-E8 can be uncoupled from sarcopenic phenotype. A genetic deficiency in MFG-E8 attenuated age-related denervation of NMJs and muscle weakness, providing evidence of a pathogenic role of increased MFG-E8. Thus, our study revealed a mechanism by which increased MFG-E8 at NMJs leads to age-related NMJ degeneration and suggests that targeting MFG-E8 could be a promising therapeutic approach to prevent sarcopenia.