Effects of pleiotrophin overexpression on mouse skeletal muscles in normal loading and in actual and simulated microgravity.
ABSTRACT: Pleiotrophin (PTN) is a widespread cytokine involved in bone formation, neurite outgrowth, and angiogenesis. In skeletal muscle, PTN is upregulated during myogenesis, post-synaptic induction, and regeneration after crushing, but little is known regarding its effects on muscle function. Here, we describe the effects of PTN on the slow-twitch soleus and fast-twitch extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscles in mice over-expressing PTN under the control of a bone promoter. The mice were maintained in normal loading or disuse condition, induced by hindlimb unloading (HU) for 14 days. Effects of exposition to near-zero gravity during a 3-months spaceflight (SF) into the Mice Drawer System are also reported. In normal loading, PTN overexpression had no effect on muscle fiber cross-sectional area, but shifted soleus muscle toward a slower phenotype, as shown by an increased number of oxidative type 1 fibers, and increased gene expression of cytochrome c oxidase subunit IV and citrate synthase. The cytokine increased soleus and EDL capillary-to-fiber ratio. PTN overexpression did not prevent soleus muscle atrophy, slow-to-fast transition, and capillary regression induced by SF and HU. Nevertheless, PTN exerted various effects on sarcolemma ion channel expression/function and resting cytosolic Ca(2+) concentration in soleus and EDL muscles, in normal loading and after HU. In conclusion, the results show very similar effects of HU and SF on mouse soleus muscle, including activation of specific gene programs. The EDL muscle is able to counterbalance this latter, probably by activating compensatory mechanisms. The numerous effects of PTN on muscle gene expression and functional parameters demonstrate the sensitivity of muscle fibers to the cytokine. Although little benefit was found in HU muscle disuse, PTN may emerge useful in various muscle diseases, because it exerts synergetic actions on muscle fibers and vessels, which could enforce oxidative metabolism and ameliorate muscle performance.
Project description:Mitochondria play an important role in providing ATP for muscle contraction. Muscle physiology is compromised in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and several studies have shown the involvement of bioenergetics. In this work we investigated the mitochondrial physiology in fibers from fast-twitch muscle (EDL) and slow-twitch muscle (soleus) in the mdx mouse model for DMD and in control C57BL/10J mice. In our study, multiple mitochondrial respiratory parameters were investigated in permeabilized muscle fibers from 12-week-old animals, a critical age where muscle regeneration is observed in the mdx mouse. Using substrates of complex I and complex II from the electron transport chain, ADP and mitochondrial inhibitors, we found in the mdx EDL, but not in the mdx soleus, a reduction in coupled respiration suggesting that ATP synthesis is affected. In addition, the oxygen consumption after addition of complex II substrate is reduced in mdx EDL; the maximal consumption rate (measured in the presence of uncoupler) also seems to be reduced. Mitochondria are involved in calcium regulation and we observed, using alizarin stain, calcium deposits in mdx muscles but not in control muscles. Interestingly, more calcium deposits were found in mdx EDL than in mdx soleus. These data provide evidence that in 12-week-old mdx mice, calcium is accumulated and mitochondrial function is disturbed in the fast-twitch muscle EDL, but not in the slow-twitch muscle soleus.
Project description:The effect of microgravity on skeletal muscles has so far been examined in rat and mice only after short-term (5-20 day) spaceflights. The mice drawer system (MDS) program, sponsored by Italian Space Agency, for the first time aimed to investigate the consequences of long-term (91 days) exposure to microgravity in mice within the International Space Station. Muscle atrophy was present indistinctly in all fiber types of the slow-twitch soleus muscle, but was only slightly greater than that observed after 20 days of spaceflight. Myosin heavy chain analysis indicated a concomitant slow-to-fast transition of soleus. In addition, spaceflight induced translocation of sarcolemmal nitric oxide synthase-1 (NOS1) into the cytosol in soleus but not in the fast-twitch extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscle. Most of the sarcolemmal ion channel subunits were up-regulated, more in soleus than EDL, whereas Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels were down-regulated, consistent with the phenotype transition. Gene expression of the atrophy-related ubiquitin-ligases was up-regulated in both spaceflown soleus and EDL muscles, whereas autophagy genes were in the control range. Muscle-specific IGF-1 and interleukin-6 were down-regulated in soleus but up-regulated in EDL. Also, various stress-related genes were up-regulated in spaceflown EDL, not in soleus. Altogether, these results suggest that EDL muscle may resist to microgravity-induced atrophy by activating compensatory and protective pathways. Our study shows the extended sensitivity of antigravity soleus muscle after prolonged exposition to microgravity, suggests possible mechanisms accounting for the resistance of EDL, and individuates some molecular targets for the development of countermeasures.
Project description:The glycosylation of dystroglycan is required for its function as a high-affinity laminin receptor, and loss of dystroglycan glycosylation results in congenital muscular dystrophy. The purpose of this study was to investigate the functional defects in slow- and fast-twitch muscles of glycosylation-deficient Large(myd) mice. While a partial alteration in glycosylation of dystroglycan in heterozygous Large(myd/+) mice was not sufficient to alter muscle function, homozygous Large(myd/myd) mice demonstrated a marked reduction in specific force in both soleus and extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscles. Although EDL muscles from Large(myd/myd) mice were highly susceptible to lengthening contraction-induced injury, Large(myd/myd) soleus muscles surprisingly showed no greater force deficit compared with wild-type soleus muscles even after five lengthening contractions. Despite no increased susceptibility to injury, Large(myd/myd) soleus muscles showed loss of dystroglycan glycosylation and laminin binding activity and dystrophic pathology. Interestingly, we show that soleus muscles have a markedly higher sarcolemma expression of ?(1)-containing integrins compared with EDL and gastrocnemius muscles. Therefore, we conclude that ?(1)-containing integrins play an important role as matrix receptors in protecting muscles containing slow-twitch fibers from contraction-induced injury in the absence of dystroglycan function, and that contraction-induced injury appears to be a separable phenotype from the dystrophic pathology of muscular dystrophy.
Project description:Diabetes mellitus induces a reduction in skeletal muscle mass and strength. Strength training is prescribed as part of treatment since it improves glycemic control and promotes increase of skeletal muscle mass. The mechanisms involved in overload-induced muscle hypertrophy elicited at the establishment of the type I diabetic state was investigated in Wistar rats. The purpose was to examine whether the overload-induced hypertrophy can counteract the hypotrophy associated to the diabetic state. The experiments were performed in oxidative (soleus) or glycolytic (EDL) muscles. PI3K/Akt/mTOR protein synthesis pathway was evaluated 7 days after overload-induced hypertrophy of soleus and of EDL muscles. The mRNA expression of genes associated with different signaling pathways that control muscle hypertrophy was also evaluated: mechanotransduction (FAK), Wnt/?-catenin, myostatin, and follistatin. The soleus and EDL muscles when submitted to overload had similar hypertrophic responses in control and diabetic animals. The increase of absolute and specific twitch and tetanic forces had the same magnitude as muscle hypertrophic response. Hypertrophy of the EDL muscle from diabetic animals mostly involved mechanical loading-stimulated PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway besides the reduced activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and decrease of myostatin expression. Hypertrophy was more pronounced in the soleus muscle of diabetic animals due to a more potent activation of rpS6 and increased mRNA expression of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), mechano-growth factor (MGF) and follistatin, and decrease of myostatin, MuRF-1 and atrogin-1 contents. The signaling changes enabled the soleus muscle mass and force of the diabetic rats to reach the values of the control group.
Project description:Sickle cell disease (SCD) patients can have limited exercise capacity and muscle dysfunction characterized by decreased force, atrophy, microvascular abnormalities, fiber distribution changes, and skeletal muscle energetics abnormalities. Growing evidence suggests that in SCD there is alteration in nitric oxide (NO) availability/signaling and that nitrate/nitrite can serve as a NO reservoir and enhance muscle performance. Here, we examined effects of nitrite on muscle strength, exercise capacity, and on contractile properties of fast-(extensor digitorum longus, EDL) and slow-twitch (soleus) muscles in SCD mice. Compared to controls, homozygotes (sickling) had decreased grip strength, impaired wheel running performance, and decreased muscle mass of fast-twitch, but not slow-twitch muscle. Nitrite treatment yielded increases in nitrite plasma levels in controls, heterozygotes, and homozygotes but decreases in muscle nitrite levels in heterozygotes and homozygotes. Regardless of genotype, nitrite yielded increases in grip strength, which were coupled with increases in specific force in EDL, but not in soleus muscle. Further, nitrite increased EDL, but not soleus, fatigability in all genotypes. Conversely, in controls, nitrite decreased, whereas in homozygotes, it increased EDL susceptibility to contraction-induced injury. Interestingly, nitrite yielded no changes in distances ran on the running wheel. These differential effects of nitrite in fast- and slow-twitch muscles suggest that its ergogenic effects would be observed in high-intensity/short exercises as found with grip force increases but no changes on wheel running distances. Further, the differential effects of nitrite in homozygotes and control animals suggests that sickling mice, which have altered NO availability/signaling, handle nitrite differently than do control animals.
Project description:Carbonic anhydrase III (CAIII) is a metabolic enzyme and a regulator for intracellular pH. CAIII has been reported with high level expression in slow twitch skeletal muscles. Here we demonstrate that CAIII is expressed in multiple slow and fast twitch muscles of adult mouse independent of the expression of myosin isoforms. Expressing similar fast type of myofilament proteins, CAIII-positive tibial anterior (TA) muscle exhibits higher tolerance to fatigue than that of CAIII-negative fast twitch extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscle in in situ contractility studies. We further studied the muscles of CAIII knockout (Car3-KO) mice. The loss of CAIII in soleus and TA muscles in Car3-KO mice did not change muscle mass, sarcomere protein isoform contents, and the baseline twitch and tetanic contractility as compared with age-matched wild type (WT) controls. On the other hand, Car3-KO TA muscle showed faster force reduction at the beginning but higher resistance at the end during a fatigue test, followed by slower post fatigue recovery than that of WT TA muscle. Superfused Car3-KO soleus muscle also had faster total force reduction during fatigue test than that of WT soleus. However, it showed a less elevation of resting tension followed by a better post fatigue recovery under acidotic stress. CAIII was detected in neonatal TA and EDL muscle, downregulated during development, and then re-expressed in adult TA but not EDL muscles. The expression of CAIII in Tnnt1-KO myopathy mouse soleus muscle that has diminished slow fiber contents due to the loss of slow troponin T remained high. Car3-KO EDL, TA, and soleus muscles showed no change in the expression of mitochondria biomarker proteins. The data suggest a fiber type independent expression of CAIII with a role in the regulation of intracellular pH in skeletal muscle and may be explored as a target for improving fatigue resistance and for the treatment of TNNT1 myopathies.
Project description:Sarcopenia describes an age-related decline in skeletal muscle mass, strength, and function that ultimately impairs metabolism and leads to poor balance, frequent falling, limited mobility, and a reduction in quality of life. Here we investigate the pathogenesis of sarcopenia through a proteomic shotgun approach. In brief, we employed tandem mass tags to quantitate and compare the protein profiles obtained from young versus old rat slow-twitch type of muscle (soleus) and a fast-twitch type of muscle (extensor digitorum longus, EDL). Our results disclose 3452 and 1848 proteins identified from soleus and EDL muscles samples, of which 78 and 174 were found to be differentially expressed, respectively. In general, most of the proteins were structural related and involved in energy metabolism, oxidative stress, detoxification, or transport. Aging affected soleus and EDL muscles differently, and several proteins were regulated in opposite ways. For example, pyruvate kinase had its expression and activity different in both soleus and EDL muscles. We were able to verify with existing literature many of our differentially expressed proteins as candidate aging biomarkers and, most importantly, disclose several new candidate biomarkers such as the glioblastoma amplified sequence, zero ?-globin, and prolargin.
Project description:Disuse is a potent inducer of muscle atrophy, but the molecular mechanisms driving this loss of muscle mass are highly debated. In particular, the extent to which disuse triggers decreases in protein synthesis or increases in protein degradation, and whether these changes are uniform across muscles or influenced by age, is unclear. We aimed to determine the impact of disuse on protein synthesis and protein degradation in lower limb muscles of varied function and fiber type in adult and old rats. Alterations in protein synthesis and degradation were measured in the soleus, medial gastrocnemius, and tibialis anterior (TA) muscles of adult and old rats subjected to hindlimb unloading (HU) for 3, 7, or 14 days. Loss of muscle mass was progressive during the unloading period, but highly variable (-9 to -38%) across muscle types and between ages. Protein synthesis decreased significantly in all muscles, except for the old TA. Atrophy-associated gene expression was only loosely associated with protein degradation as muscle RING finger-1, muscle atrophy F-box (MAFbx), and Forkhead box O1 expression significantly increased in all muscles, but an increase in proteasome activity was only observed in the adult soleus. MAFbx protein levels were significantly higher in the old muscles compared with adult muscles, despite the old having higher expression of microRNA-23a. These results indicate that adult and old muscles respond similarly to HU, and the greatest loss in muscle mass occurs in predominantly slow-twitch extensor muscles due to a concomitant decrease in protein synthesis and increase in protein degradation.NEW & NOTEWORTHY In this study, we showed that age did not intensify the atrophy response to unloading in rats, but rather that the degree of atrophy was highly variable across muscles, indicating that changes in protein synthesis and protein degradation occur in a muscle-specific manner. Our data emphasize the importance of studying muscles of varying fiber-type and physiological function at multiple time points to fully understand the molecular mechanisms responsible for disuse atrophy.
Project description:The skeletal muscle plays an important role in maintaining whole-body mechanics, metabolic homeostasis, and interorgan crosstalk. However, during aging, functional and structural changes such as fiber integrity loss and atrophy can occur across different species. A commonly observed hallmark of aged skeletal muscle is the accumulation of oxidatively modified proteins and protein aggregates which point to an imbalance in proteostasis systems such as degradation machineries. Recently, we showed that the ubiquitin-proteasomal system was impaired. Specifically, the proteasomal activity, which was declining in aged M. soleus (SOL) and M. extensor digitorum longus (EDL). Therefore, in order to understand whether another proteolytic system would compensate the decline in proteasomal activity, we aimed to investigate age-related changes in the autophagy-lysosomal system (ALS) in SOL, mostly consisting of slow-twitch fibers, and EDL, mainly composed of fast-twitch fibers, from young (4 months) and old (25 months) C57BL/6JRj mice. Here, we focused on changes in the content of modified proteins and the ALS. Our results show that aged SOL and EDL display high levels of protein modifications, particularly in old SOL. While autophagy machinery appears to be functional, lysosomal activity declines gradually in aged SOL. In contrast, in old EDL, the ALS seems to be affected, demonstrated by an increased level of key autophagy-related proteins, which are known to accumulate when their delivery or degradation is impaired. In fact, lysosomal activity was significantly decreased in old EDL. Results presented herein suggest that the ALS can compensate the high levels of modified proteins in the more oxidative muscle, SOL, while EDL seems to be more prone to ALS age-related alterations.
Project description:Dysferlinopathies are a form of muscular dystrophy caused by gene mutations resulting in deficiency of the protein dysferlin. Symptoms manifest later in life in a muscle specific manner, although the pathomechanism is not well understood. This study compared the impact of dysferlin-deficiency on in vivo and ex vivo muscle function, and myofibre type composition in slow (soleus) and fast type (extensor digitorum longus; EDL) muscles using male dysferlin-deficient (dysf-/-) BLAJ mice aged 10 months, compared with wild type (WT) C57Bl/6J mice. There was a striking increase in muscle mass of BLAJ soleus (+25%) (p<0.001), with no strain differences in EDL mass, compared with WT. In vivo measures of forelimb grip strength and wheel running capacity showed no strain differences. Ex vivo measures showed the BLAJ soleus had faster twitch contraction (-21%) and relaxation (-20%) times, and delayed post fatigue recovery (ps<0.05); whereas the BLAJ EDL had a slower relaxation time (+11%) and higher maximum rate of force production (+25%) (ps<0.05). Similar proportions of MHC isoforms were evident in the soleus muscles of both strains (ps>0.05); however, for the BLAJ EDL, there was an increased proportion of type IIx MHC isoform (+5.5%) and decreased type IIb isoform (-5.5%) (ps<0.01). This identification of novel differences in the impact of dysferlin-deficiency on slow and fast twitch muscles emphasises the importance of evaluating myofibre type specific effects to provide crucial insight into the mechanisms responsible for loss of function in dysferlinopathies; this is critical for the development of targeted future clinical therapies.