Myostatin (Mstn) participates in the regulation of skeletal muscle size and has emerged as a regulator of muscle metabolism. Here, we hypothesized that lack of myostatin profoundly depresses oxidative phosphorylation-dependent muscle function. Toward this end, we explored Mstn(-/-) mice as a model for the constitutive absence of myostatin and AAV-mediated overexpression of myostatin propeptide as a model of myostatin blockade in adult wild-type mice. We show that muscles from Mstn(-/-) mice, although larger and stronger, fatigue extremely rapidly. Myostatin deficiency shifts muscle from aerobic toward anaerobic energy metabolism, as evidenced by decreased mitochondrial respiration, reduced expression of PPAR transcriptional regulators, increased enolase activity, and exercise-induced lactic acidosis. As a consequence, constitutively reduced myostatin signaling diminishes exercise capacity, while the hypermuscular state of Mstn(-/-) mice increases oxygen consumption and the energy cost of running. We wondered whether these results are the mere consequence of the congenital fiber-type switch toward a glycolytic phenotype of constitutive Mstn(-/-) mice. Hence, we overexpressed myostatin propeptide in adult mice, which did not affect fiber-type distribution, while nonetheless causing increased muscle fatigability, diminished exercise capacity, and decreased Pparb/d and Pgc1a expression. In conclusion, our results suggest that myostatin endows skeletal muscle with high oxidative capacity and low fatigability, thus regulating the delicate balance between muscle mass, muscle force, energy metabolism, and endurance capacity.
Myostatin regulates skeletal muscle size via the activin receptor IIB (ActRIIB). However, its effect on muscle energy metabolism and energy-dependent muscle function remains largely unexplored. This question needs to be solved urgently since various therapies for neuromuscular diseases based on blockade of ActRIIB signaling are being developed. Here, we show in mice, that 4-month pharmacological abrogation of ActRIIB signaling by treatment with soluble ActRIIB-Fc triggers extreme muscle fatigability. This is associated with elevated serum lactate levels and a severe metabolic myopathy in the mdx mouse, an animal model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Blockade of ActRIIB signaling downregulates porin, a crucial ADP/ATP shuttle between cytosol and mitochondrial matrix leading to a consecutive deficiency of oxidative phosphorylation as measured by in vivo Phosphorus Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy ((31)P-MRS). Further, ActRIIB blockade reduces muscle capillarization, which further compounds the metabolic stress. We show that ActRIIB regulates key determinants of muscle metabolism, such as Ppar?, Pgc1?, and Pdk4 thereby optimizing different components of muscle energy metabolism. In conclusion, ActRIIB signaling endows skeletal muscle with high oxidative capacity and low fatigability. The severe metabolic side effects following ActRIIB blockade caution against deploying this strategy, at least in isolation, for treatment of neuromuscular disorders.
Abstract Inhibition of myostatin (Mstn) stimulates skeletal muscle growth, reduces body fat, and induces a number of metabolic changes. However, it remains unexplored how exercise training modulates the response to Mstn inhibition. The aim of this study was to investigate how siRNA-mediated Mstn inhibition alone but also in combination with physical activity affects body composition and skeletal muscle homeostasis. Adult mice were treated with Mstn-targeting siRNA and subjected to a treadmill-based exercise protocol for 4 weeks. Effects on skeletal muscle and fat tissue, expression of genes, and serum concentration of proteins involved in myostatin signaling, skeletal muscle homeostasis, and lipid metabolism were investigated and compared with Mstn(-/-) mice. The combination of siRNA-mediated Mstn knockdown and exercise induced skeletal muscle hypertrophy, which was associated with an upregulation of markers for satellite cell activity. SiRNA-mediated Mstn knockdown decreased visceral fat and modulated lipid metabolism similar to effects observed in Mstn(-/-) mice. Myostatin did not regulate its own expression via an autoregulatory loop, however, Mstn knockdown resulted in a decrease in the serum concentrations of myostatin propeptide, leptin, and follistatin. The ratio of these three parameters was distinct between Mstn knockdown, exercise, and their combination. Taken together, siRNA-mediated Mstn knockdown in combination with exercise stimulated skeletal muscle hypertrophy. Each intervention or their combination induced a specific set of adaptive responses in the skeletal muscle and fat metabolism which could be identified by marker proteins in serum.
Cell size is determined by the balance between protein synthesis and degradation. This equilibrium is affected by hormones, nutrients, energy levels, mechanical stress and cytokines. Mutations that inactivate myostatin lead to excessive muscle growth in animals and humans, but the signals and pathways responsible for this hypertrophy remain largely unknown. Here we show that bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling, acting through Smad1, Smad5 and Smad8 (Smad1/5/8), is the fundamental hypertrophic signal in mice. Inhibition of BMP signaling causes muscle atrophy, abolishes the hypertrophic phenotype of myostatin-deficient mice and strongly exacerbates the effects of denervation and fasting. BMP-Smad1/5/8 signaling negatively regulates a gene (Fbxo30) that encodes a ubiquitin ligase required for muscle loss, which we named muscle ubiquitin ligase of the SCF complex in atrophy-1 (MUSA1). Collectively, these data identify a critical role for the BMP pathway in adult muscle maintenance, growth and atrophy.
It is well known that inactivity/activity influences skeletal muscle physiological characteristics. However, the effects of inactivity/activity on muscle weakness and increased susceptibility to muscle contraction-induced injury have not been extensively studied in mdx mice, a murine model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy with dystrophin deficiency. In the present study, we demonstrate that inactivity (ie, leg immobilization) worsened the muscle weakness and the susceptibility to contraction-induced injury in mdx mice. Inactivity also mimicked these two dystrophic features in wild-type mice. In contrast, we demonstrate that these parameters can be improved by activity (ie, voluntary wheel running) in mdx mice. Biochemical analyses indicate that the changes induced by inactivity/activity were not related to fiber-type transition but were associated with altered expression of different genes involved in fiber growth (GDF8), structure (Actg1), and calcium homeostasis (Stim1 and Jph1). However, activity reduced left ventricular function (ie, ejection and shortening fractions) in mdx, but not C57, mice. Altogether, our study suggests that muscle weakness and susceptibility to contraction-induced injury in dystrophic muscle could be attributable, at least in part, to inactivity. It also suggests that activity exerts a beneficial effect on dystrophic skeletal muscle but not on the heart.
When energy is needed, white adipose tissue (WAT) provides fatty acids (FAs) for use in peripheral tissues via stimulation of fat cell lipolysis. FAs have been postulated to play a critical role in the development of obesity-induced insulin resistance, a major risk factor for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. However, whether and how chronic inhibition of fat mobilization from WAT modulates insulin sensitivity remains elusive. Hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) participates in the breakdown of WAT triacylglycerol into FAs. HSL haploinsufficiency and treatment with a HSL inhibitor resulted in improvement of insulin tolerance without impact on body weight, fat mass, and WAT inflammation in high-fat-diet-fed mice. In vivo palmitate turnover analysis revealed that blunted lipolytic capacity is associated with diminution in FA uptake and storage in peripheral tissues of obese HSL haploinsufficient mice. The reduction in FA turnover was accompanied by an improvement of glucose metabolism with a shift in respiratory quotient, increase of glucose uptake in WAT and skeletal muscle, and enhancement of de novo lipogenesis and insulin signalling in liver. In human adipocytes, HSL gene silencing led to improved insulin-stimulated glucose uptake, resulting in increased de novo lipogenesis and activation of cognate gene expression. In clinical studies, WAT lipolytic rate was positively and negatively correlated with indexes of insulin resistance and WAT de novo lipogenesis gene expression, respectively. In obese individuals, chronic inhibition of lipolysis resulted in induction of WAT de novo lipogenesis gene expression. Thus, reduction in WAT lipolysis reshapes FA fluxes without increase of fat mass and improves glucose metabolism through cell-autonomous induction of fat cell de novo lipogenesis, which contributes to improved insulin sensitivity.
Myostatin regulates both muscle mass and muscle metabolism. The myostatin null (MSTN(-/-)) mouse has a hypermuscular phenotype owing to both hypertrophy and hyperplasia of the myofibres. The enlarged muscles display a reliance on glycolysis for energy production; however, enlarged muscles that develop in the absence of myostatin have compromised force-generating capacity. Recent evidence has suggested that endurance exercise training increases the oxidative properties of muscle. Here, we aimed to identify key changes in the muscle phenotype of MSTN(-/-) mice that can be induced by training. To this end, we subjected MSTN(-/-) mice to two different forms of training, namely voluntary wheel running and swimming, and compared the response at the morphological, myocellular and molecular levels. We found that both regimes normalized changes of myostatin deficiency and restored muscle function. We showed that both exercise training regimes increased muscle capillary density and the expression of Ucp3, Cpt1?, Pdk4 and Err?, key markers for oxidative metabolism. Cross-sectional area of hypertrophic myofibres from MSTN(-/-) mice decreased towards wild-type values in response to exercise and, in this context, Bnip3, a key autophagy-related gene, was upregulated. This reduction in myofibre size caused an increase of the nuclear-to-cytoplasmic ratio towards wild-type values. Importantly, both training regimes increased muscle force in MSTN(-/-) mice. We conclude that impaired skeletal muscle function in myostatin-deficient mice can be improved through endurance exercise-mediated remodelling of muscle fibre size and metabolic profile.
Myostatin-deficient mice (MSTN (-/-)) display excessive muscle mass and this is associated with a profound loss of oxidative metabolic properties. In this study we analysed the effect of two endurance-based exercise regimes, either a forced high-impact swim training or moderate intensity voluntary wheel running on the adaptive properties of the tibialis anterior and plantaris muscle from MSTN (-/-) mice. MSTN (-/-) and wild type (MSTN (+/+)) animals had comparable performances in the wheel running regime in terms of distance, average speed and time, but MSTN (-/-) mice showed a reduced ability to sustain a high-impact activity via swimming. Swim training elicited muscle specific adaptations on fibre type distribution in MSTN (-/-); the tibialis anterior displaying a partial transformation in contrast to the plantaris which showed no change. Conversely, wheel running induced similar changes in fibre type composition of both muscles, favouring transitions from IIB-to-IIA. Succinate dehydrogenase activity, an indicator of mitochondrial oxidative potential was increased in response to either exercise regime, with wheel running eliciting more robust changes in the MSTN (-/-) muscles. Examination of the cross sectional area of individual fibre types showed genotype-specific responses with MSTN (-/-) mice exhibiting an incapability of fibre enlargement following the wheel running regime, as opposed to MSTN (+/+) mice and a greater susceptibility to muscle fibre area loss following swimming. In conclusion, the muscle fibre hypertrophy, oxidative capacity and glycolytic phenotype of myostatin deficient muscle can be altered with endurance exercise regimes.
Myostatin, a member of the TGF-beta family, has been identified as a powerful inhibitor of muscle growth. Absence or blockade of myostatin induces massive skeletal muscle hypertrophy that is widely attributed to proliferation of the population of muscle fiber-associated satellite cells that have been identified as the principle source of new muscle tissue during growth and regeneration. Postnatal blockade of myostatin has been proposed as a basis for therapeutic strategies to combat muscle loss in genetic and acquired myopathies. But this approach, according to the accepted mechanism, would raise the threat of premature exhaustion of the pool of satellite cells and eventual failure of muscle regeneration. Here, we show that hypertrophy in the absence of myostatin involves little or no input from satellite cells. Hypertrophic fibers contain no more myonuclei or satellite cells and myostatin had no significant effect on satellite cell proliferation in vitro, while expression of myostatin receptors dropped to the limits of detectability in postnatal satellite cells. Moreover, hypertrophy of dystrophic muscle arising from myostatin blockade was achieved without any apparent enhancement of contribution of myonuclei from satellite cells. These findings contradict the accepted model of myostatin-based control of size of postnatal muscle and reorient fundamental investigations away from the mechanisms that control satellite cell proliferation and toward those that increase myonuclear domain, by modulating synthesis and turnover of structural muscle fiber proteins. It predicts too that any benefits of myostatin blockade in chronic myopathies are unlikely to impose any extra stress on the satellite cells.
The alpha1S subunit has a dual function in skeletal muscle: it forms the L-type Ca(2+) channel in T-tubules and is the voltage sensor of excitation-contraction coupling at the level of triads. It has been proposed that L-type Ca(2+) channels might also be voltage-gated sensors linked to transcriptional activity controlling differentiation. By using the U7-exon skipping strategy, we have achieved long-lasting downregulation of alpha1S in adult skeletal muscle. Treated muscles underwent massive atrophy while still displaying significant amounts of alpha1S in the tubular system and being not paralysed. This atrophy implicated the autophagy pathway, which was triggered by neuronal nitric oxide synthase redistribution, activation of FoxO3A, upregulation of autophagy-related genes and autophagosome formation. Subcellular investigations showed that this atrophy was correlated with the disappearance of a minor fraction of alpha1S located throughout the sarcolemma. Our results reveal for the first time that this sarcolemmal fraction could have a role in a signalling pathway determining muscle anabolic or catabolic state and might act as a molecular sensor of muscle activity.
Adeno-associated virus (AAV)-U7-mediated skipping of dystrophin-exon-23 restores dystrophin expression and muscle function in the mdx mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Soluble activin receptor IIB (sActRIIB-Fc) inhibits signaling of myostatin and homologous molecules and increases muscle mass and function of wild-type and mdx mice. We hypothesized that combined treatment with AAV-U7 and sActRIIB-Fc may synergistically improve mdx muscle function. Bioactivity of sActRIIB-Fc on skeletal muscle was first demonstrated in wild-type mice. In mdx mice we show that AAV-U7-mediated dystrophin restoration improved specific muscle force and resistance to eccentric contractions when applied alone. Treatment of mdx mice with sActRIIB-Fc increased body weight, muscle mass and myofiber size, but had little effect on muscle function. Combined treatment stimulated muscle growth comparable to the effect of sActRIIB-Fc alone and dystrophin rescue was similar to AAV-U7 alone. Moreover, combined treatment improved maximal tetanic force and the resistance to eccentric contraction to similar extent as AAV-U7 alone. In conclusion, combination of dystrophin exon skipping with sActRIIB-Fc brings together benefits of each treatment; however, we failed to evidence a clear synergistic effect on mdx muscle function.
Dystrophin contributes to force transmission and has a protein-scaffolding role for a variety of signaling complexes in skeletal muscle. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that the muscle adaptive response following mechanical overloading (ML) would be decreased in MDX dystrophic muscle lacking dystrophin. We found that the gains in muscle maximal force production and fatigue resistance in response to ML were both reduced in MDX mice as compared to healthy mice. MDX muscle also exhibited decreased cellular and molecular muscle remodeling (hypertrophy and promotion of slower/oxidative fiber type) in response to ML, and altered intracellular signalings involved in muscle growth and maintenance (mTOR, myostatin, follistatin, AMPK?1, REDD1, atrogin-1, Bnip3). Moreover, dystrophin rescue via exon skipping restored the adaptive response to ML. Therefore our results demonstrate that the adaptive response in response to ML is impaired in dystrophic MDX muscle, most likely because of the dystrophin crucial role.
Related JoVE Video
Journal of Visualized Experiments
What is Visualize?
JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.
How does it work?
We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.
Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...
In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.