Physiology - Research Publications

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    Deletion of suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3) in muscle stem cells does not alter muscle regeneration in mice after injury
    Swiderski, K ; Caldow, MK ; Naim, T ; Trieu, J ; Chee, A ; Koopman, R ; Lynch, GS ; Alway, SE (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2019-02-27)
    Muscles of older animals are more susceptible to injury and regenerate poorly, in part due to a persistent inflammatory response. The janus kinase (Jak)/signal transducer and activator of transcription (Stat) pathway mediates inflammatory signaling and is tightly regulated by the suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS) proteins, especially SOCS3. SOCS3 expression is altered in the muscle of aged animals and may contribute to the persistent inflammation and impaired regeneration. To test this hypothesis, we performed myotoxic injuries on mice with a tamoxifen-inducible deletion of SOCS3 specifically within the muscle stem cell compartment. Muscle stem cell-specific SOCS3 deletion reduced muscle mass at 14 days post-injury (-14%, P < 0.01), altered the myogenic transcriptional program, and reduced myogenic fusion based on the number of centrally-located nuclei per muscle fiber. Despite the delay in myogenesis, muscles with a muscle stem cell-specific deletion of SOCS3 were still able to regenerate after a single bout or multiple bouts of myotoxic injury. A reduction in SOCS3 expression in muscle stem cells is unlikely to be responsible for the incomplete muscle repair in aged animals.
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    Glycine administration attenuates progression of dystrophic pathology in prednisolone-treated dystrophin/utrophin null mice
    Ham, DJ ; Gardner, A ; Kennedy, TL ; Trieu, J ; Naim, T ; Chee, A ; Alves, FM ; Caldow, MK ; Lynch, GS ; Koopman, R (NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2019-09-10)
    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-linked genetic disease characterized by progressive muscle wasting and weakness and premature death. Glucocorticoids (e.g. prednisolone) remain the only drugs with a favorable impact on DMD patients, but not without side effects. We have demonstrated that glycine preserves muscle in various wasting models. Since glycine effectively suppresses the activity of pro-inflammatory macrophages, we investigated the potential of glycine treatment to ameliorate the dystrophic pathology. Dystrophic mdx and dystrophin-utrophin null (dko) mice were treated with glycine or L-alanine (amino acid control) for up to 15 weeks and voluntary running distance (a quality of life marker and strong correlate of lifespan in dko mice) and muscle morphology were assessed. Glycine increased voluntary running distance in mdx mice by 90% (P < 0.05) after 2 weeks and by 60% (P < 0.01) in dko mice co-treated with prednisolone over an 8 week treatment period. Glycine treatment attenuated fibrotic deposition in the diaphragm by 28% (P < 0.05) after 10 weeks in mdx mice and by 22% (P < 0.02) after 14 weeks in dko mice. Glycine treatment augmented the prednisolone-induced reduction in fibrosis in diaphragm muscles of dko mice (23%, P < 0.05) after 8 weeks. Our findings provide strong evidence that glycine supplementation may be a safe, simple and effective adjuvant for improving the efficacy of prednisolone treatment and improving the quality of life for DMD patients.
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    Glycine Protects Muscle Cells From Wasting in vitro via mTORC1 Signaling
    Caldow, MK ; Ham, DJ ; Trieu, J ; Chung, JD ; Lynch, GS ; Koopman, R (FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2019-11-13)
    Glycine supplementation can protect skeletal muscles of mice from cancer-induced wasting, but the mechanisms underlying this protection are not well-understood. The aim of this study was to determine whether exogenous glycine directly protects skeletal muscle cells from wasting. C2C12 muscle cells were exposed to non-inflammatory catabolic stimuli via two models: serum withdrawal (SF) for 48 h; or incubation in HEPES buffered saline (HBS) for up to 5 h. Cells were supplemented with glycine or equimolar concentrations of L-alanine. SF- and HBS-treated myotubes (with or without L-alanine) were ~20% and ~30% smaller than control myotubes. Glycine-treated myotubes were up to 20% larger (P < 0.01) compared to cells treated with L-alanine in both models of muscle cell atrophy. The mTORC1 inhibitor rapamycin prevented the glycine-stimulated protection of myotube diameter, and glycine-stimulated S6 phosphorylation, suggesting that mTORC1 signaling may be necessary for glycine's protective effects in vitro. Increasing glycine availability may be beneficial for muscle wasting conditions associated with inadequate nutrient intake.
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    Muscle-specific deletion of SOCS3 does not reduce the anabolic response to leucine in a mouse model of acute inflammation
    Caldow, MK ; Ham, DJ ; Chee, A ; Trieu, J ; Naim, T ; Stapleton, DI ; Swiderski, K ; Lynch, GS ; Koopman, R (ACADEMIC PRESS LTD- ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2017-08-01)
    Excessive inflammation reduces skeletal muscle protein synthesis leading to wasting and weakness. The janus kinase/signal transducers and activators of transcription-3 (JAK/STAT3) pathway is important for the regulation of inflammatory signaling. As such, suppressor of cytokine signaling-3 (SOCS3), the negative regulator of JAK/STAT signaling, is thought to be important in the control of muscle homeostasis. We hypothesized that muscle-specific deletion of SOCS3 would impair the anabolic response to leucine during an inflammatory insult. Twelve week old (n=8 per group) SOCS3 muscle-specific knockout mice (SOCS3-MKO) and littermate controls (WT) were injected with lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 1mg/kg) or saline and were studied during fasted conditions or after receiving 0.5g/kg leucine 3h after the injection of LPS. Markers of inflammation, anabolic signaling, and protein synthesis were measured 4h after LPS injection. LPS injection robustly increased mRNA expression of inflammatory molecules (Socs3, Socs1, Il-6, Ccl2, Tnfα and Cd68). In muscles from SOCS3-MKO mice, the Socs3 mRNA response to LPS was significantly blunted (∼6-fold) while STAT3 Tyr705 phosphorylation was exacerbated (18-fold). Leucine administration increased protein synthesis in both WT (∼1.6-fold) and SOCS3-MKO mice (∼1.5-fold) compared to basal levels. LPS administration blunted this effect, but there were no differences between WT and SOCS3-MKO mice. Muscle-specific SOCS3 deletion did not alter the response of AKT, mTOR, S6 or 4EBP1 under any treatment conditions. Therefore, SOCS3 does not appear to mediate the early inflammatory or leucine-induced changes in protein synthesis in skeletal muscle.
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    L-Citrulline Protects Skeletal Muscle Cells from Cachectic Stimuli through an iNOS-Dependent Mechanism
    Ham, DJ ; Gleeson, BG ; Chee, A ; Baum, DM ; Caldow, MK ; Lynch, GS ; Koopman, R ; Beard, N (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2015-10-29)
    Dietary L-citrulline is thought to modulate muscle protein turnover by increasing L-arginine availability. To date, the direct effects of increased L-citrulline concentrations in muscle have been completely neglected. Therefore, we determined the role of L-citrulline in regulating cell size during catabolic conditions by depriving mature C2C12 myotubes of growth factors (serum free; SF) or growth factors and nutrients (HEPES buffered saline; HBS). Cells were treated with L-citrulline or equimolar concentrations of L-arginine (positive control) or L-alanine (negative control) and changes in cell size and protein turnover were assessed. In myotubes incubated in HBS or SF media, L-citrulline improved rates of protein synthesis (HBS: +63%, SF: +37%) and myotube diameter (HBS: +18%, SF: +29%). L-citrulline treatment substantially increased iNOS mRNA expression (SF: 350%, HBS: 750%). The general NOS inhibitor L-NAME and the iNOS specific inhibitor aminoguanidine prevented these effects in both models. Depriving myotubes in SF media of L-arginine or L-leucine, exacerbated wasting which was not attenuated by L-citrulline. The increased iNOS mRNA expression was temporally associated with increases in mRNA of the endogenous antioxidants SOD1, SOD3 and catalase. Furthermore, L-citrulline prevented inflammation (LPS) and oxidative stress (H2O2) induced muscle cell wasting. In conclusion, we demonstrate a novel direct protective effect of L-citrulline on skeletal muscle cell size independent of L-arginine that is mediated through induction of the inducible NOS (iNOS) isoform. This discovery of a nutritional modulator of iNOS mRNA expression in skeletal muscle cells could have substantial implications for the treatment of muscle wasting conditions.
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    Glycine restores the anabolic response to leucine in a mouse model of acute inflammation
    Ham, DJ ; Caldow, MK ; Chhen, V ; Chee, A ; Wang, X ; Proud, CG ; Lynch, GS ; Koopman, R (AMER PHYSIOLOGICAL SOC, 2016-06-01)
    Amino acids, especially leucine, potently stimulate protein synthesis and reduce protein breakdown in healthy skeletal muscle and as a result have received considerable attention as potential treatments for muscle wasting. However, the normal anabolic response to amino acids is impaired during muscle-wasting conditions. Although the exact mechanisms of this anabolic resistance are unclear, inflammation and ROS are believed to play a central role. The nonessential amino acid glycine has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and preserves muscle mass in calorie-restricted and tumor-bearing mice. We hypothesized that glycine would restore the normal muscle anabolic response to amino acids under inflammatory conditions. Relative rates of basal and leucine-stimulated protein synthesis were measured using SUnSET methodology 4 h after an injection of 1 mg/kg lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Whereas leucine failed to stimulate muscle protein synthesis in LPS-treated mice pretreated with l-alanine (isonitrogenous control), leucine robustly stimulated protein synthesis (+51%) in mice pretreated with 1 g/kg glycine. The improvement in leucine-stimulated protein synthesis was accompanied by a higher phosphorylation status of mTOR, S6, and 4E-BP1 compared with l-alanine-treated controls. Despite its known anti-inflammatory action in inflammatory cells, glycine did not alter the skeletal muscle inflammatory response to LPS in vivo or in vitro but markedly reduced DHE staining intensity, a marker of oxidative stress, in muscle cross-sections and attenuated LPS-induced wasting in C2C12 myotubes. Our observations in male C57BL/6 mice suggest that glycine may represent a promising nutritional intervention for the attenuation of skeletal muscle wasting.
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    Glycine metabolism in skeletal muscle: implications for metabolic homeostasis
    Koopman, R ; Caldow, MK ; Ham, DJ ; Lynch, GS (LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS, 2017-07-01)
    PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The review summarizes the recent literature on the role of glycine in skeletal muscle during times of stress. RECENT FINDINGS: Supplemental glycine protects muscle mass and function under pathological conditions. In addition, mitochondrial dysfunction in skeletal muscle leads to increased cellular serine and glycine production and activation of NADPH-generating pathways and glutathione metabolism. These studies highlight how glycine availability modulates cellular homeostasis and redox status. SUMMARY: Recent studies demonstrate that supplemental glycine effectively protects muscles in a variety of wasting models, including cancer cachexia, sepsis, and reduced caloric intake. The underlying mechanisms responsible for the effects of glycine remain unclear but likely involve receptor-mediated responses and modulation of intracellular metabolism. Future research to understand these mechanisms will provide insight into glycine's therapeutic potential. Our view is that glycine holds considerable promise for improving health by protecting muscles during different wasting conditions.
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    Arginine protects muscle cells from wasting in vitro in an mTORC1-dependent and NO-independent manner
    Ham, DJ ; Caldow, MK ; Lynch, GS ; Koopman, R (SPRINGER WIEN, 2014-12-01)
    Amino acids are potent regulators of muscle protein synthesis and breakdown and have received considerable attention for the treatment of muscle wasting conditions. Arginine is critically involved in numerous physiological functions including providing substrate for the production of creatine, urea and nitric oxide (NO) and in the synthesis of new proteins. However, little is known about the direct effects of arginine on skeletal muscle protein synthesis during catabolic conditions. The aims of this study were to determine whether exogenous arginine could protect skeletal muscle cells from wasting directly and whether this effect was dependent on production of NO and/or activation of the rapamycin-sensitive mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signalling pathway. To explore these aims, we deprived mature C2C12 myotubes from nutrients and growth factors by incubating them in HEPES buffered saline with arginine or equimolar concentrations of alanine (control). Our results show that arginine: increased the ratio of phosphorylated to total mTOR (146 %), S6 (40 %) and 4EBP1 (69 %); increased protein synthesis (69 %) during the first hour of treatment; and increased myotube diameter by ~15 %. Experiments using the NO synthase inhibitor L-NG-Nitroarginine Methyl Ester showed a NO-independent protection from muscle wasting. On the other hand, the mTORC1 inhibitor rapamycin prevented increases in phosphorylated S6, protein synthesis and myotube diameter. The activation of mTORC1 and protein synthesis by arginine was not associated with changes in the phosphorylation status of Akt, but rather increased the expression of the amino acid-sensitive type III PI3-kinase Vps34 signalling protein. These data support a direct role for arginine in the regulation of mTORC1 in skeletal muscle.