Journal of Physiology
Intracellular water plays a critical role in apoptotic and necrotic cell death. We describe a method for quantifying cell water by application of two previously described variants of transmission microscopy. By taking two axially displaced brightfield images, the phase shift of the transmitted wave was computed using the transport-of-intensity equation. At the same time, cell thickness was determined by transmission through an externally applied dye (‘transmission-through-dye' microscopy); switching between these two imaging modalities was accomplished by simply changing the illumination wavelength. The sets of data thus obtained allow computation of the refractive index and cell water content within individual cells. The method was illustrated using cells treated with apoptotic agents staurosporine and actinomycin D and with necrosis inducer ionomycin. Water imaging allows discrimination between apoptotic volume decrease due to dehydration from that due to detachment of apoptotic bodies and can be used on samples where cell volume determination alone would be difficult or insufficient.
Increases in intracellular pH facilitate endocytosis and decrease availability of voltage-gated proton channels in osteoclasts and microglia
Voltage-gated proton channels (H+ channels) are highly proton-selective transmembrane pathways. Although the primary determinants for activation are the pH and voltage gradients across the membrane, the current amplitudes fluctuate often when these gradients are constant. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of the intracellular pH (pHi) in regulating the availability of H+ channels in osteoclasts and microglia. In whole-cell clamp recordings, the pHi was elevated after exposure to NH4Cl and returned to the control level after washout. However, the H+ channel conductance did not recover fully when the exposure was prolonged (>5 min). Similar results were observed in osteoclasts and microglia, but not in COS7 cells expressing a murine H+ channel gene (mVSOP). As other electrophysiological properties, like the gating kinetics and voltage dependence for activation, were unchanged, the decreases in the H+ channel conductance were probably due to the decreases in H+ channels available at the plasma membrane. The decreases in the H+ channel conductances were accompanied by reductions in the cell capacitance. Exposure to NH4Cl increased the uptake of the endocytosis marker FM1-43, substantiating the idea that pHi increases facilitated endocytosis. In osteoclasts, whose plasma membrane expresses V-ATPases and H+ channels, pHi increases by these H+-transferring molecules in part facilitated endocytosis. The endocytosis and decreases in the H+ channel conductance were reduced by dynasore, a dynamin blocker. These results suggest that pHi increases in osteoclasts and microglia decrease the numbers of H+ channels available at the plasma membrane through facilitation of dynamin-dependent endocytosis.
Myosin molecules from smooth muscle and non-muscle cells are known to self-assemble into side-polar filaments in vitro. However, the in situ mechanism of filament assembly is not clear and the question of whether there is a unique length for myosin filaments in smooth muscle is still under debate. In this study we measured the lengths of 16,587 myosin filaments in three types of smooth muscle cells using serial electron microscopy (EM). Sheep airway and pulmonary arterial smooth muscle as well as rabbit carotid arterial smooth muscle were fixed for EM and serial ultra-thin (50–60 nm) sections were obtained. Myosin filaments were traced in consecutive sections to determine their lengths. The results indicate that there is not a single length for the myosin filaments; instead there is a wide variation in lengths. The plots of observation frequency versus myosin filament length follow an exponential decay pattern. Analysis suggests that in situ assembly of myosin filaments in smooth muscle is governed by random processes of linear polymerization and de-polymerization, and that the dynamic equilibrium of these processes determines the observed length distribution.
ClC-5 is a 2Cl–/1H+ antiporter highly expressed in endosomes of proximal tubule cells. It is essential for endocytosis and mutations in ClC-5 cause Dent's disease, potentially leading to renal failure. However, the physiological role of ClC-5 is still unclear. One of the main issues is whether the strong rectification of ClC-5 currents observed in heterologous systems, with currents elicited only at positive voltages, is preserved in vivo and what is the origin of this rectification. In this work we identified a ClC-5 mutation, D76H, which, besides the typical outward currents of the wild-type (WT), shows inward tail currents at negative potentials that allow the estimation of the reversal of ClC-5 currents for the first time. A detailed analysis of the dependence of these inward tail currents on internal and external pH and [Cl–] shows that they are generated by a coupled transport of Cl– and H+ with a 2 : 1 stoichiometry. From this result we conclude that the inward tail currents are caused by a gating mechanism that regulates ClC-5 transport activity and not by a major alteration of the transport mechanism itself. This implies that the strong rectification of the currents of WT ClC-5 is at least in part caused by a gating mechanism that activates the transporter at positive potentials. These results elucidate the biophysical properties of ClC-5 and contribute to the understanding of its physiological role.
Redox modification of ryanodine receptors by mitochondria-derived reactive oxygen species contributes to aberrant Ca2+ handling in ageing rabbit hearts
Ageing is associated with a blunted response to sympathetic stimulation and an increased risk of arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death. Aberrant calcium (Ca2+) handling is an important contributor to the electrical and contractile dysfunction associated with ageing. Yet, the specific molecular mechanisms underlying abnormal Ca2+ handling in ageing heart remain poorly understood. In this study, we used ventricular myocytes isolated from young (5–9 months) and old (4–6 years) rabbit hearts to test the hypothesis that changes in Ca2+ homeostasis are caused by post-translational modification of ryanodine receptors (RyRs) by mitochondria-derived reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated in the ageing heart. Changes in parameters of Ca2+ handling were determined by measuring cytosolic and intra-sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+ dynamics in intact and permeabilized ventricular myocytes using confocal microscopy. We also measured age-related changes in ROS production and mitochondria membrane potential using a ROS-sensitive dye and a mitochondrial voltage-sensitive fluorescent indicator, respectively. In permeablized myocytes, ageing did not change SERCA activity and spark frequency but decreased spark amplitude and SR Ca2+ load suggesting increased RyR activity. Treatment with the antioxidant dithiothreitol reduced RyR-mediated SR Ca2+ leak in permeabilized myocytes from old rabbit hearts to the level comparable to young. Moreover, myocytes from old rabbits had more depolarized mitochondria membrane potential and increased rate of ROS production. Under -adrenergic stimulation, Ca2+ transient amplitude, SR Ca2+ load, and latency of pro-arrhythmic spontaneous Ca2+ waves (SCWs) were decreased while RyR-mediated SR Ca2+ leak was increased in cardiomyocytes from old rabbits. Additionally, with -adrenergic stimulation, scavenging of mitochondrial ROS in myocytes from old rabbit hearts restored redox status of RyRs, which reduced SR Ca2+ leak, ablated most SCWs, and increased latency to levels comparable to young. These data indicate that an age-associated increase of ROS production by mitochondria leads to the thiol-oxidation of RyRs, which underlies the hyperactivity of RyRs and thereby shortened refractoriness of Ca2+ release in cardiomyocytes from the ageing heart. This mechanism probably plays an important role in the increased incidence of arrhythmia and sudden death in the ageing population.
Chronic renin inhibition lowers blood pressure and reduces upright muscle sympathetic nerve activity in hypertensive seniors
Cardiovascular risk remains high in patients with hypertension even with adequate blood pressure (BP) control. One possible mechanism may be sympathetic activation via the baroreflex. We tested the hypothesis that chronic inhibition of renin reduces BP without sympathetic activation, but diuresis augments sympathetic activity in elderly hypertensives. Fourteen patients with stage-I hypertension (66 ± 5 (SD) years) were treated with a direct renin inhibitor, aliskiren (n = 7), or a diuretic, hydrochlorothiazide (n = 7), for 6 months. Muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA), BP, direct renin and aldosterone were measured during supine and a graded head-up tilt (HUT; 5 min 30° and 20 min 60°), before and after treatment. Sympathetic baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) was assessed. Both groups had similar BP reductions after treatment (all P < 0.01), while MSNA responses were different between hydrochlorothiazide and aliskiren (P = 0.006 pre/post x drug). Both supine and upright MSNA became greater after hydrochlorothiazide treatment (supine, 72 ± 18 post vs. 64 ± 15 bursts (100 beats)–1 pre; 60° HUT, 83 ± 10 vs. 78 ± 13 bursts (100 beats)–1; P = 0.002). After aliskiren treatment, supine MSNA remained unchanged (69 ± 13 vs. 64 ± 8 bursts (100 beats)–1), but upright MSNA was lower (74 ± 15 vs. 85 ± 10 bursts (100 beats)–1; P = 0.012 for pre/post x posture). Direct renin was greater after both treatments (both P < 0.05), while upright aldosterone was greater after hydrochlorothiazide only (P = 0.002). The change in upright MSNA by the treatment was correlated with the change of aldosterone (r = 0.74, P = 0.002). Upright sympathetic BRS remained unchanged after either treatment. Thus, chronic renin inhibition may reduce upright MSNA through suppressed renin activity, while diuresis may evoke sympathetic activation via the upregulated renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system, without changing intrinsic sympathetic baroreflex function in elderly hypertensive patients.
Abnormal ventricular repolarization in ion channelopathies and heart disease is a major cause of ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. K+ channel-interacting protein 2 (KChIP2) expression is significantly reduced in human heart failure (HF), contributing to a loss of the transient outward K+ current (Ito). We aim to investigate the possible significance of a changed KChIP2 expression on the development of HF and proarrhythmia. Transverse aortic constrictions (TAC) and sham operations were performed in wild-type (WT) and KChIP2–/– mice. Echocardiography was performed before and every 2 weeks after the operation. Ten weeks post-surgery, surface ECG was recorded and we paced the heart in vivo to induce arrhythmias. Afterwards, tissue from the left ventricle was used for immunoblotting. Time courses of HF development were comparable in TAC-operated WT and KChIP2–/– mice. Ventricular protein expression of KChIP2 was reduced by 70% after 10 weeks TAC in WT mice. The amplitudes of the J and T waves were enlarged in KChIP2–/– control mice. Ventricular effective refractory period, RR, QRS and QT intervals were longer in mice with HF compared to sham-operated mice of either genotype. Pacing-induced ventricular tachycardia (VT) was observed in 5/10 sham-operated WT mice compared with 2/10 HF WT mice with HF. Interestingly, and contrary to previously published data, sham-operated KChIP2–/– mice were resistant to pacing-induced VT resulting in only 1/10 inducible mice. KChIP2–/– with HF mice had similar low vulnerability to inducible VT (1/9). Our results suggest that although KChIP2 is downregulated in HF, it is not orchestrating the development of HF. Moreover, KChIP2 affects ventricular repolarization and lowers arrhythmia susceptibility. Hence, downregulation of KChIP2 expression in HF may be antiarrhythmic in mice via reduction of the fast transient outward K+ current.
Important role of mucosal serotonin in colonic propulsion and peristaltic reflexes: in vitro analyses in mice lacking tryptophan hydroxylase 1
Although there is general agreement that mucosal 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) can initiate peristaltic reflexes in the colon, recent studies have differed as to whether or not the role of mucosal 5-HT is critical. We therefore tested the hypothesis that the secretion of 5-HT from mucosal enterochromaffin (EC) cells is essential for the manifestation of murine colonic peristaltic reflexes. To do so, we analysed the mechanisms underlying faecal pellet propulsion in isolated colons of mice lacking tryptophan hydroxylase 1 (Tph1–/– mice), which is the rate-limiting enzyme in the biosynthesis of mucosal but not neuronal 5-HT. We used video analysis of faecal pellet propulsion, tension transducers to record colonic migrating motor complexes (CMMCs) and intracellular microelectrodes to record circular muscle activity occurring spontaneously or following intraluminal distension. When compared with control (Tph1+/+) mice, Tph1–/– animals exhibited: (1) an elongated colon; (2) larger faecal pellets; (3) orthograde propulsion followed by retropulsion (not observed in Tph1+/+ colon); (4) slower in vitro propulsion of larger faecal pellets (28% of Tph1+/+); (5) CMMCs that infrequently propagated in an oral to anal direction because of impaired descending inhibition; (6) reduced CMMCs and inhibitory responses to intraluminal balloon distension; (7) an absence of reflex activity in response to mucosal stimulation. In addition, (8) thin pellets that propagated along the control colon failed to do so in Tph1–/– colon; and (9) the 5-HT3 receptor antagonist ondansetron, which reduced CMMCs and blocked their propagation in Tph1+/+ mice, failed to alter CMMCs in Tph1–/– animals. Our observations suggest that mucosal 5-HT is essential for reflexes driven by mucosal stimulation and is also important for normal propagation of CMMCs and propulsion of pellets in the isolated colon.
Identification of unique release kinetics of serotonin from guinea-pig and human enterochromaffin cells
The major source of serotonin (5-HT) in the body is the enterochromaffin (EC) cells lining the intestinal mucosa of the gastrointestinal tract. Despite the fact that EC cells synthesise ~95% of total body 5-HT, and that this 5-HT has important paracrine and endocrine roles, no studies have investigated the mechanisms of 5-HT release from single primary EC cells. We have developed a rapid primary culture of guinea-pig and human EC cells, allowing analysis of single EC cell function using electrophysiology, electrochemistry, Ca2+ imaging, immunocytochemistry and 3D modelling. Ca2+ enters EC cells upon stimulation and triggers quantal 5-HT release via L-type Ca2+ channels. Real time amperometric techniques reveal that EC cells release 5-HT at rest and this release increases upon stimulation. Surprisingly for an endocrine cell storing 5-HT in large dense core vesicles (LDCVs), EC cells release 70 times less 5-HT per fusion event than catecholamine released from similarly sized LDCVs in endocrine chromaffin cells, and the vesicle release kinetics instead resembles that observed in mammalian synapses. Furthermore, we measured EC cell density along the gastrointestinal tract to create three-dimensional (3D) simulations of 5-HT diffusion using the minimal number of variables required to understand the physiological relevance of single cell 5-HT release in the whole-tissue milieu. These models indicate that local 5-HT levels are likely to be maintained around the activation threshold for mucosal 5-HT receptors and that this is dependent upon stimulation and location within the gastrointestinal tract. This is the first study demonstrating single cell 5-HT release in primary EC cells. The mode of 5-HT release may represent a unique mode of exocytosis amongst endocrine cells and is functionally relevant to gastrointestinal sensory and motor function.
Oxygen and mitochondrial inhibitors modulate both monomeric and heteromeric TASK-1 and TASK-3 channels in mouse carotid body type-1 cells
In rat arterial chemoreceptors, background potassium channels play an important role in maintaining resting membrane potential and promoting depolarization and excitation in response to hypoxia or acidosis. It has been suggested that these channels are a heterodimer of TASK-1 and TASK-3 based on their similarity to heterologously expressed TASK-1/3 fusion proteins. In this study, we sought to confirm the identity of these channels through germline ablation of Task-1 (Kcnk3) and Task-3 (Kcnk9) in mice. Background K-channels were abundant in carotid body type-1 cells from wild-type mice and comparable to those previously described in rat type-1 cells with a main conductance state of 33 pS. This channel was absent from both Task-1–/– and Task-3–/– cells. In its place we observed a larger (38 pS) K+-channel in Task-1–/– cells and a smaller (18 pS) K+-channel in Task-3–/– cells. None of these channels were observed in Task-1–/–/Task-3–/– double knock-out mice. We therefore conclude that the predominant background K-channel in wild-type mice is a TASK-1/TASK-3 heterodimer, whereas that in Task-1–/– mice is TASK-3 and, conversely, that in Task-3–/– mice is TASK-1. All three forms of TASK channel in type-1 cells were inhibited by hypoxia, cyanide and the uncoupler FCCP, but the greatest sensitivity was seen in TASK-1 and TASK-1/TASK-3 channels. In summary, the background K-channel in type-1 cells is predominantly a TASK-1/TASK-3 heterodimer. Although both TASK-1 and TASK-3 are able to couple to the oxygen and metabolism sensing pathways present in type-1 cells, channels containing TASK-1 appear to be more sensitive.
Hydrogen sulphide (H2S) is a signalling molecule that appears to regulate diverse cell physiological process in several organs and systems including vascular and airway smooth muscle cell (SMC) contraction. Decreases in endogenous H2S synthesis have been associated with the development of cardiovascular diseases and asthma. Here we investigated the mechanism of airway SMC relaxation induced by H2S in small intrapulmonary airways using mouse lung slices and confocal and phase-contrast video microscopy. Exogenous H2S donor Na2S (100 m) reversibly inhibited Ca2+ release and airway contraction evoked by inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate (InsP3) uncaging in airway SMCs. Similarly, InsP3-evoked Ca2+ release and contraction was inhibited by endogenous H2S precursor l-cysteine (10 mm) but not by l-serine (10 mm) or either amino acid in the presence of dl-propargylglycine (PPG). Consistent with the inhibition of Ca2+ release through InsP3 receptors (InsP3Rs), Na2S reversibly inhibited acetylcholine (ACh)-induced Ca2+ oscillations in airway SMCs. In addition, Na2S, the H2S donor GYY-4137, and l-cysteine caused relaxation of airways pre-contracted with either ACh or 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT). Na2S-induced airway relaxation was resistant to a guanylyl cyclase inhibitor (ODQ) and a protein kinase G inhibitor (Rp-8-pCPT-cGMPS). The effects of H2S on InsP3-evoked Ca2+ release and contraction as well as on the relaxation of agonist-contracted airways were mimicked by the thiol-reducing agent dithiothreitol (DTT, 10 mm) and inhibited by the oxidizing agent diamide (30 m). These studies indicate that H2S causes airway SMC relaxation by inhibiting Ca2+ release through InsP3Rs and consequent reduction of agonist-induced Ca2+ oscillations in SMCs. The results suggest a novel role for endogenously produced H2S that involves the modulation of InsP3-evoked Ca2+ release – a cell-signalling system of critical importance for many physiological and pathophysiological processes.
Altered skeletal muscle mitochondrial biogenesis but improved endurance capacity in trained OPA1-deficient mice
The role of OPA1, a GTPase dynamin protein mainly involved in the fusion of inner mitochondrial membranes, has been studied in many cell types, but only a few studies have been conducted on adult differentiated tissues such as cardiac or skeletal muscle cells. Yet OPA1 is highly expressed in these cells, and could play different roles, especially in response to an environmental stress like exercise. Endurance exercise increases energy demand in skeletal muscle and repeated activity induces mitochondrial biogenesis and activation of fusion–fission cycles for the synthesis of new mitochondria. But currently no study has clearly shown a link between mitochondrial dynamics and biogenesis. Using a mouse model of haploinsufficiency for the Opa1 gene (Opa1+/–), we therefore studied the impact of OPA1 deficiency on the adaptation ability of fast skeletal muscles to endurance exercise training. Our results show that, surprisingly, Opa1+/– mice were able to perform the same physical activity as control mice. However, the adaptation strategies of both strains after training differed: while in control mice mitochondrial biogenesis was increased as expected, in Opa1+/– mice this process was blunted. Instead, training in Opa1+/– mice led to an increase in endurance capacity, and a specific adaptive response involving a metabolic remodelling towards enhanced fatty acid utilization. In conclusion, OPA1 appears necessary for the normal adaptive response and mitochondrial biogenesis of skeletal muscle to training. This work opens new perspectives on the role of mitochondrial dynamics in skeletal muscle cells and during adaptation to stress.
Tendon and skeletal muscle matrix gene expression and functional responses to immobilisation and rehabilitation in young males: effect of growth hormone administration
We examined the effect of growth hormone (GH) on connective tissue of tendon and skeletal muscle during immobilisation and re-training in humans. Young men (20–30 years; n = 20) were randomly assigned to daily recombinant human GH (rhGH) (33–50 g kg–1 day–1) or placebo (Plc), and had one leg immobilised for 2 weeks, followed by 6 weeks of strength training. The cross-sectional area (CSA), maximal muscle strength (maximal voluntary contraction, MVC) and biomechanical properties of the quadriceps muscle and patellar tendon were determined. Muscle and tendon biopsies were analysed for mRNA of collagen (COL1A1/3A1), insulin-like growth factors (IGF-1Ea/Ec), lysyl oxidase (LOX), matrix metalloproteases (MMP-2 and MMP-9), decorin and tenascin-C. Fibril morphology was analysed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to detect changes in the fibril diameter distribution. In muscle, CSA and MVC declined with immobilisation and recovered with rehabilitation similarly in both groups. Likewise, both groups showed increased IGF-1Ea/Ec and COL1A1/3A1 expression in muscle during re-training after immobilisation compared with baseline, and the increase was more pronounced when subjects received GH. The tendon CSA did not change during immobilisation, but increased in both groups during 6 weeks of rehabilitation (~14%). A decline in tendon stiffness after immobilisation was observed only in the Plc group, and an increase during 6 weeks of rehabilitation was observed only in the GH group. IGF-1Ea and COL1A1/3A1 mRNA increased with immobilisation in the GH group only, and LOX mRNA was higher in the GH group than in the Plc group after immobilisation. Both groups showed an increase in MMP-2 with immobilisation, whereas no changes in MMP-9, decorin and tenascin-C were observed. The tendon fibril diameter distribution remained unchanged in both groups. In conclusion, GH stimulates collagen expression in both skeletal muscle and tendon, abolishes the normal inactivity-related decline in tendon stiffness and LOX, and results in increased tendon CSA and stiffness during rehabilitation. GH has a matrix-stabilising effect during periods of inactivity and rehabilitation in humans.
Endogenous and maximal sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium content and calsequestrin expression in type I and type II human skeletal muscle fibres
The relationship between sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+ content and calsequestrin (CSQ) isoforms was investigated in human skeletal muscle. A fibre-lysing assay was used to quantify the endogenous Ca2+ content and maximal Ca2+ capacity of the SR in skinned segments of type I and type II fibres from vastus lateralis muscles of young healthy adults. Western blotting of individual fibres showed the great majority contained either all fast or all slow isoforms of myosin heavy chain (MHC), troponins C and I, tropomyosin and SERCA, and that the strontium sensitivity of the force response was closely indicative of the troponin C isoform present. The endogenous SR Ca2+ content was slightly lower in type I compared to type II fibres (0.76 ± 0.03 and 0.85 ± 0.02 mmol Ca2+ per litre of fibre, respectively), with virtually all of this Ca2+ evidently being in the SR, as it could be rapidly released with a caffeine-low [Mg2+] solution (only 0.08 ± 0.01 and <0.07 mmol l–1, respectively, remaining). The maximal Ca2+ content that could be reached with SR Ca2+ loading was 1.45 ± 0.04 and 1.79 ± 0.03 mmol l–1 in type I and type II fibres, respectively (P < 0.05). In non-lysed skinned fibres, where the SR remained functional, repeated cycles of caffeine-induced Ca2+ release and subsequent Ca2+ reloading similarly indicated that (i) maximal SR Ca2+ content was lower in type I fibres than in type II fibres (P < 0.05), and (ii) the endogenous Ca2+ content represented a greater percentage of maximal content in type I fibres compared to type II fibres (~59% and 41%, respectively, P < 0.05). Type II fibres were found on average to contain ~3–fold more CSQ1 and ~5–fold less CSQ2 than type I fibres (P < 0.001). The findings are consistent with the SR Ca2+ content characteristics in human type II fibres being primarily determined by the CSQ1 abundance, and in type I fibres by the combined amounts of both CSQ1 and CSQ2.
Respiratory, metabolic and cardiac functions are altered by disinhibition of subregions of the medial prefrontal cortex
The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is referred to as the visceral motor cortex; however, little is known about whether this region influences respiratory or metabolic outflows. The aim of this study was to describe simultaneous changes in respiratory, metabolic and cardiovascular functions evoked by disinhibition of the medial PFC (mPFC) and adjacent lateral septal nucleus (LSN). In urethane-anaesthetized rats, bicuculline methiodide was microinjected (2 mm; GABA-A receptor antagonist) into 90 sites in the mPFC at 0.72–4.00 mm from bregma. Phrenic nerve amplitude and frequency, arterial pressure, heart rate, splanchnic and lumbar sympathetic nerve activities (SNA), expired CO2, and core and brown adipose tissue temperatures were measured. Novel findings included disturbances to respiratory rhythm evoked from all subregions of the mPFC. Injections into the cingulate cortex evoked reductions in central respiratory function exclusively, whereas in ventral sites, particularly the infralimbic region, increases in respiratory drive and frequency, and metabolic and cardiac outflows were evoked. Disinhibition of sites in surrounding regions revealed that the LSN could evoke cardiovascular changes accompanied by distinct oscillations in SNA, as well as increases in respiratory amplitude. We show that activation of neurons within the mPFC and LSN influence respiratory, metabolic and cardiac outflows in a site-dependent manner. This study has implications with respect to the altered PFC neuronal activity seen in stress-related and mental health disorders, and suggests how basic physiological systems may be affected.
Mitochondrial dysfunction and reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been implicated in the aetiology of skeletal muscle insulin resistance, although there is considerable controversy regarding these concepts. Mitochondrial function has been traditionally assessed in the presence of saturating ADP, but ATP turnover and the resultant ADP is thought to limit respiration in vivo. Therefore, we investigated the potential link between submaximal ADP-stimulated respiration rates, ROS generation and skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity in a model of type 2 diabetes mellitus, the ZDF rat. Utilizing permeabilized muscle fibres we observed that submaximal ADP-stimulated respiration rates (250–2000 m ADP) were lower in ZDF rats than in lean controls, which coincided with decreased adenine nucleotide translocase 2 (ANT2) protein content. This decrease in submaximal ADP-stimulated respiration occurred in the absence of a decrease in electron transport chain function. Treating ZDF rats with resveratrol improved skeletal muscle insulin resistance and this was associated with elevated submaximal ADP-stimulated respiration rates as well as an increase in ANT2 protein content. These results coincided with a greater ability of ADP to attenuate mitochondrial ROS emission and an improvement in cellular redox balance. Together, these data suggest that mitochondrial dysfunction is present in skeletal muscle insulin resistance when assessed at submaximal ADP concentrations and that ADP dynamics may influence skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity through alterations in the propensity for mitochondrial ROS emission.
Recent studies have suggested that centrally generated motor commands contribute to the perception of position and movement at the wrist, but not at the elbow. Because the wrist and elbow experiments used different methods, this study was designed to resolve the discrepancy. Two methods were used to test both the elbow and wrist (20 subjects each). For the wrist, subjects sat with their right arm strapped to a device that restricted movement to the wrist. Before each test, voluntary contraction of wrist flexor or extensor muscles controlled for muscle spindle thixotropy. After relaxation, the wrist was moved to a test angle. Position was indicated either with a pointer, or by matching with the contralateral wrist, under two conditions: when the reference wrist was relaxed or when its muscles were contracted isometrically (30% maximum). The elbow experiment used the same design to measure position sense in the passive elbow and with elbow muscles contracting (30% maximum). At the wrist when using a pointer, muscle contraction altered significantly the perceived wrist angle in the direction of contraction by 7 deg [3 deg, 12 deg] (mean [95% confidence interval]) with a flexor contraction and 8 deg [4 deg, 12 deg] with an extensor contraction. Similarly, in the wrist matching task, there was a change of 13 deg [9 deg, 16 deg] with a flexor contraction and 4 deg [1 deg, 8 deg] with an extensor contraction. In contrast, contraction of elbow flexors or extensors did not alter significantly the perceived position of the elbow, compared with rest. The contribution of central commands to position sense differs between the elbow and the wrist.