Skeletal muscle atrophy is a significant health problem that results in decreased muscle size and function and has been associated with increases in oxidative stress. The molecular mechanisms that regulate muscle atrophy, however, are largely unknown. The metallothioneins, a family of genes with antioxidant properties, have been found to be consistently upregulated during muscle atrophy, though their function during muscle atrophy is unknown. Therefore, we hypothesized that MT knockdown would result in greater oxidative stress and an enhanced atrophy response in C2C12 myotubes subjected to serum reduction (SR), a novel atrophy-inducing stimulus. 48 hours prior to SR, myotubes were transfected with siRNA sequences designed to decrease MT expression. Muscle atrophy and oxidative stress were then measured at baseline and for 72 hours following SR. Muscle atrophy was quantified by immunocytochemistry and myotube diameter measurements. Oxidative stress was measured using the fluorescent probe 5-(and-6)-carboxy-2'7'dichlorodihydrofluorescein. SR resulted in a significant increase in oxidative stress and a decrease in myotube size and protein content. However, there were no differences observed in the extent of muscle atrophy or oxidant activity following MT knockdown. We therefore conclude that the novel SR model results in a strong atrophy response and an increase in oxidant activity in cultured myotubes and that knockdown of MT does not affect that response.
- muscle wasting
- Copyright © 2010, Journal of Applied Physiology