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Journal of Physiology
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Studies performed at the beginning of the last century revealed the importance of carbohydrate as a fuel during exercise, and the importance of muscle glycogen on performance has subsequently been confirmed in numerous studies. However, the link between glycogen depletion and impaired muscle function during fatigue is not well understood and a direct cause-and-effect relationship between glycogen and muscle function remains to be established. The use of electron microscopy has revealed that glycogen is not homogeneously distributed in skeletal muscle fibres, but rather localized in distinct pools. Furthermore, each glycogen granule has its own metabolic machinery with glycolytic enzymes and regulating proteins. One pool of such glycogenolytic complexes is localized within the myofibrils in close contact with key proteins involved in the excitation–contraction coupling and Ca2+ release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR). We and others have provided experimental evidence in favour of a direct role of decreased glycogen, localized within the myofibrils, for the reduction in SR Ca2+ release during fatigue. This is consistent with compartmentalized energy turnover and distinctly localized glycogen pools being of key importance for SR Ca2+ release and thereby affecting muscle contractility and fatigability.
Exercise- and training-induced upregulation of skeletal muscle fatty acid oxidation are not solely dependent on mitochondrial machinery and biogenesis
Regulation of skeletal muscle fatty acid oxidation (FAO) and adaptation to exercise training have long been thought to depend on delivery of fatty acids (FAs) to muscle, their diffusion into muscle, and muscle mitochondrial content and biochemical machinery. However, FA entry into muscle occurs via a regulatable, protein-mediated mechanism, involving several transport proteins. Among these CD36 is key. Muscle contraction and pharmacological agents induce CD36 to translocate to the cell surface, a response that regulates FA transport, and hence FAO. In exercising CD36 KO mice, exercise duration (–44%), and FA transport (–41%) and oxidation (–37%) are comparably impaired, while carbohydrate metabolism is augmented. In trained CD36 KO mice, training-induced upregulation of FAO is not observed, despite normal training-induced increases in mitochondrial density and enzymes. Transfecting CD36 into sedentary WT muscle (+41%), comparable to training-induced CD36 increases (+44%) in WT muscle, markedly upregulates FAO to rates observed in trained WT mice, but without any changes in mitochondrial density and enzymes. Evidently, in vivo CD36-mediated FA transport is key for muscle fuel selection and training-induced FAO upregulation, independent of mitochondrial adaptations. This CD36 molecular mechanism challenges the view that skeletal muscle FAO is solely regulated by muscle mitochondrial content and machinery.
Improved detection of electrical activity with a voltage probe based on a voltage-sensing phosphatase
One of the most awaited techniques in modern physiology is the sensitive detection of spatiotemporal electrical activity in a complex network of excitable cells. The use of genetically encoded voltage probes has been expected to enable such analysis. However, in spite of recent progress, existing probes still suffer from low signal amplitude and/or kinetics too slow to detect fast electrical activity. Here, we have developed an improved voltage probe named Mermaid2, which is based on the voltage-sensor domain of the voltage-sensing phosphatase from Ciona intestinalis and Förster energy transfer between a pair of fluorescent proteins. In mammalian cells, Mermaid2 permits ratiometric readouts of fractional changes of more than 50% over a physiologically relevant voltage range with fast kinetics, and it was used to follow a train of action potentials at frequencies of up to 150 Hz. Mermaid2 was also able to detect single action potentials and subthreshold voltage responses in hippocampal neurons in vitro, in addition to cortical electrical activity evoked by sound stimuli in single trials in living mice.
Altered Ca2+ concentration, permeability and buffering in the myofibre Ca2+ store of a mouse model of malignant hyperthermia
Malignant hyperthermia (MH) is linked to mutations in the type 1 ryanodine receptor, RyR1, the Ca2+ channel of the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) of skeletal muscle. The Y522S MH mutation was studied for its complex presentation, which includes structurally and functionally altered cell ‘cores'. Imaging cytosolic and intra-SR [Ca2+] in muscle cells of heterozygous YS mice we determined Ca2+ release flux activated by clamp depolarization, permeability (P) of the SR membrane (ratio of flux and [Ca2+] gradient) and SR Ca2+ buffering power (B). In YS cells resting [Ca2+]SR was 45% of the value in normal littermates (WT). P was more than doubled, so that initial flux was normal. Measuring [Ca2+]SR(t) revealed dynamic changes in B(t). The alterations were similar to those caused by cytosolic BAPTA, which promotes release by hampering Ca2+-dependent inactivation (CDI). The [Ca2+] transients showed abnormal ‘breaks', decaying phases after an initial rise, traced to a collapse in flux and P. Similar breaks occurred in WT myofibres with calsequestrin reduced by siRNA; calsequestrin content, however, was normal in YS muscle. Thus, the Y522S mutation causes greater openness of the RyR1, lowers resting [Ca2+]SR and alters SR Ca2+ buffering in a way that copies the functional instability observed upon reduction of calsequestrin content. The similarities with the effects of BAPTA suggest that the mutation, occurring near the cytosolic vestibule of the channel, reduces CDI as one of its primary effects. The unstable SR buffering, mimicked by silencing of calsequestrin, may help precipitate the loss of Ca2+ control that defines a fulminant MH event.
The mechanism underlying maintenance of the endocochlear potential by the K+ transport system in fibrocytes of the inner ear
The endocochlear potential (EP) of +80 mV in the scala media, which is indispensable for audition, is controlled by K+ transport across the lateral cochlear wall. This wall includes two epithelial barriers, the syncytium and the marginal cells. The former contains multiple cell types, such as fibrocytes, which are exposed to perilymph on their basolateral surfaces. The apical surfaces of the marginal cells face endolymph. Between the two barriers lies the intrastrial space (IS), an extracellular space with a low K+ concentration ([K+]) and a potential similar to the EP. This intrastrial potential (ISP) dominates the EP and represents the sum of the diffusion potential elicited by a large K+ gradient across the apical surface of the syncytium and the syncytium's potential, which is slightly positive relative to perilymph. Although a K+ transport system in fibrocytes seems to contribute to the EP, the mechanism remains uncertain. We examined the electrochemical properties of the lateral wall of guinea pigs with electrodes sensitive to potential and K+ while perfusing into the perilymph of the scala tympani blockers of Na+,K+-ATPase, the K+ pump thought to be essential to the system. Inhibiting Na+,K+-ATPase barely affected [K+] in the IS but greatly decreased [K+] within the syncytium, reducing the K+ gradient across its apical surface. The treatment hyperpolarized the syncytium only moderately. Consequently, both the ISP and the EP declined. Fibrocytes evidently use the Na+,K+-ATPase to achieve local K+ transport, maintaining the syncytium's high [K+] that is crucial for the K+ diffusion underlying the positive ISP.
Hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction in the absence of pretone: essential role for intracellular Ca2+ release
Hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction (HPV) maintains blood oxygenation during acute hypoxia but contributes to pulmonary hypertension during chronic hypoxia. The mechanisms of HPV remain controversial, in part because HPV is usually studied in the presence of agonist-induced preconstriction (‘pretone'). This potentiates HPV but may obscure and distort its underlying mechanisms. We therefore carried out an extensive assessment of proposed mechanisms contributing to HPV in isolated intrapulmonary arteries (IPAs) in the absence of pretone by using a conventional small vessel myograph. Hypoxia elicited a biphasic constriction consisting of a small transient (phase 1) superimposed upon a sustained (phase 2) component. Neither phase was affected by the L-type Ca2+ channel antagonists diltiazem (10 and 30 m) or nifedipine (3 m). Application of the store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE) blockers BTP2 (10 m) or SKF96365 (50 m) attenuated phase 2 but not phase 1, whereas a lengthy (30 min) incubation in Ca2+-free physiological saline solution similarly reduced phase 2 but abolished phase 1. No further effect of inhibition of HPV was observed if the sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase inhibitor cyclopiazonic acid (30 m) was also applied during the 30 min incubation in Ca2+-free physiological saline solution. Pretreatment with 10 m ryanodine and 15 mm caffeine abolished both phases, whereas treatment with 100 m ryanodine attenuated both phases. The two-pore channel blocker NED-19 (1 m) and the nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAADP) antagonist BZ194 (200 m) had no effect on either phase of HPV. The lysosomal Ca2+-depleting agent concanamycin (1 m) enhanced HPV if applied during hypoxia, but had no effect on HPV during a subsequent hypoxic challenge. The cyclic ADP ribose antagonist 8-bromo-cyclic ADP ribose (30 m) had no effect on either phase of HPV. Neither the Ca2+-sensing receptor (CaSR) blocker NPS2390 (0.1 and 10 m) nor FK506 (10 m), a drug which displaces FKBP12.6 from ryanodine receptor 2 (RyR2), had any effect on HPV. HPV was virtually abolished by the rho kinase blocker Y-27632 (1 m) and attenuated by the protein kinase C inhibitor Gö6983 (3 m). Hypoxia for 45 min caused a significant increase in the ratio of oxidised to reduced glutathione (GSSG/GSH). HPV was unaffected by the NADPH oxidase inhibitor VAS2870 (10 m), whereas phase 2 was inhibited but phase 1 was unaffected by the antioxidants ebselen (100 m) and TEMPOL (3 mm). We conclude that both phases of HPV in this model are mainly dependent on [Ca2+]i release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum. Neither phase of HPV requires voltage-gated Ca2+ entry, but SOCE contributes to phase 2. We can detect no requirement for cyclic ADP ribose, NAADP-dependent lysosomal Ca2+ release, activation of the CaSR, or displacement of FKBP12.6 from RyR2 for either phase of HPV. Sustained HPV is associated with an oxidising shift in the GSSG/GSH redox potential and is inhibited by the antioxidants ebselen and TEMPOL, consistent with the concept that it requires an oxidising shift in the cell redox state or the generation of reactive oxygen species.
During intense exercise in horses the transvascular fluid flux in the pulmonary circulation (Jv-a) represents 4% of cardiac output ( ). This fluid flux has been attributed to an increase in pulmonary transmural hydrostatic forces, increases in perfused microvascular surface area, and reversible alterations in capillary permeability under conditions of high flow and pressure. Erythrocyte fluid efflux, however, accounts for a significant fraction of Jv-a. In the lung the Jacobs–Stewart cycle occurs with diffusion of CO2 into alveolar space with possible accompanying chloride (Cl–) and water movement from the erythrocyte directly into the pulmonary interstitium. We hypothesised that inhibition of carbonic anhydrase in erythrocytes inhibits the Jacobs–Stewart cycle and attenuates Jv-a. Five horses were exercised on a treadmill until fatigue without (control) and with acetazolamide treatment (30 mg kg–1 30 min before exercise). Erythrocyte fluid efflux, plasma fluid flux across the lung and Jv-a were calculated using haemoglobin, haematocrit, plasma protein and Q. Fluid fluxes were used to calculate erythrocyte, plasma and whole blood Cl– fluxes across the lung. Cardiac output was not different between control and acetazolamide treatment. During exercise erythrocyte fluid efflux and Jv-a increased in control (9.3 ± 3.3 and 11.0 ± 4.4 l min–1, respectively) and was higher than after acetazolamide treatment (3.8 ± 1.6 and 1.2 ± 1.2 l min–1, respectively) (P < 0.05). Plasma fluid flux did not change from rest in control and decreased after acetazolamide treatment (–4.5 ± 1.5 l min–1) (P < 0.05). Erythrocyte Cl– flux increased during exercise in control and after acetazolamide treatment (P < 0.05). During exercise plasma Cl– flux across the lung did not change in control; however, it increased with acetazolamide treatment (P = 0.0001). During exercise whole blood Cl– flux increased across the lung in control (P < 0.05) but not after acetazolamide treatment. The results indicate that Jv-a in the lung is dependent on the Jacobs–Stewart cycle and mostly independent of transmural hydrostatic forces. It also appears that Jv-a is mediated by Cl– and water egress from erythrocytes directly into the interstitium without transit through plasma.
Network interactions within the canine intrinsic cardiac nervous system: implications for reflex control of regional cardiac function
The aims of the study were to determine how aggregates of intrinsic cardiac (IC) neurons transduce the cardiovascular milieu versus responding to changes in central neuronal drive and to determine IC network interactions subsequent to induced neural imbalances in the genesis of atrial fibrillation (AF). Activity from multiple IC neurons in the right atrial ganglionated plexus was recorded in eight anaesthetized canines using a 16-channel linear microelectrode array. Induced changes in IC neuronal activity were evaluated in response to: (1) focal cardiac mechanical distortion; (2) electrical activation of cervical vagi or stellate ganglia; (3) occlusion of the inferior vena cava or thoracic aorta; (4) transient ventricular ischaemia, and (5) neurally induced AF. Low level activity (ranging from 0 to 2.7 Hz) generated by 92 neurons was identified in basal states, activities that displayed functional interconnectivity. The majority (56%) of IC neurons so identified received indirect central inputs (vagus alone: 25%; stellate ganglion alone: 27%; both: 48%). Fifty per cent transduced the cardiac milieu responding to multimodal stressors applied to the great vessels or heart. Fifty per cent of IC neurons exhibited cardiac cycle periodicity, with activity occurring primarily in late diastole into isovolumetric contraction. Cardiac-related activity in IC neurons was primarily related to direct cardiac mechano-sensory inputs and indirect autonomic efferent inputs. In response to mediastinal nerve stimulation, most IC neurons became excessively activated; such network behaviour preceded and persisted throughout AF. It was concluded that stochastic interactions occur among IC local circuit neuronal populations in the control of regional cardiac function. Modulation of IC local circuit neuronal recruitment may represent a novel approach for the treatment of cardiac disease, including atrial arrhythmias.
Length dependence of striated muscle force generation is controlled by phosphorylation of cTnI at serines 23/24
According to the Frank–Starling relationship, greater end-diastolic volume increases ventricular output. The Frank–Starling relationship is based, in part, on the length–tension relationship in cardiac myocytes. Recently, we identified a dichotomy in the steepness of length–tension relationships in mammalian cardiac myocytes that was dependent upon protein kinase A (PKA)-induced myofibrillar phosphorylation. Because PKA has multiple myofibrillar substrates including titin, myosin-binding protein-C and cardiac troponin I (cTnI), we sought to define if phosphorylation of one of these molecules could control length–tension relationships. We focused on cTnI as troponin can be exchanged in permeabilized striated muscle cell preparations, and tested the hypothesis that phosphorylation of cTnI modulates length dependence of force generation. For these experiments, we exchanged unphosphorylated recombinant cTn into either a rat cardiac myocyte preparation or a skinned slow-twitch skeletal muscle fibre. In all cases unphosphorylated cTn yielded a shallow length–tension relationship, which was shifted to a steep relationship after PKA treatment. Furthermore, exchange with cTn having cTnI serines 23/24 mutated to aspartic acids to mimic phosphorylation always shifted a shallow length–tension relationship to a steep relationship. Overall, these results indicate that phosphorylation of cTnI serines 23/24 is a key regulator of length dependence of force generation in striated muscle.
Cyclic guanosine monophosphate and the dependent protein kinase regulate lymphatic contractility in rat thoracic duct
We have previously demonstrated a principal role for nitric oxide (NO) in the endothelium/shear-dependent regulation of contractility in rat thoracic duct (TD). In this study we tested the hypothesis that cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) and the dependent protein kinase (PKG) are central to the intrinsic and extrinsic flow-dependent modulation of lymphatic contractility. Lymphatic diameters and indices of pumping in isolated, cannulated and pressurized segments of rat TD were measured. The influences of increased transmural pressure (1–5 cmH2O) and imposed flow (1–5 cm H2O transaxial pressure gradients) on lymphatic function were studied before and after: (1) inhibition of guanylate cyclase (GC) with and without a NO donor; (2) application of stable cGMP analogue; and (3) inhibition of the cGMP activation of PKG. Additionally, Western blotting and immunofluorescent tissue staining were used to analyse the PKG isoforms expressed in TD. We found that the GC inhibitor ODQ induced changes in TD contractility similar to NO synthase blockade and prevented the relaxation induced by the NO donor S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine. The cGMP analogue, 8-(4-Chlorophenylthio)-guanosine 3,5-cyclic monophosphate sodium salt (8pCPTcGMP), mimicked the extrinsic flow-induced relaxation in a dose-dependent manner, whereas treatment with the cGMP/PKG inhibitor, guanosine 3,5-cyclic monophosphorothioate, 8-(4-chlorophenylthio)-, Rp-isomer, triethylammonium salt (Rp-8-Br-PETcGMPS), eliminated intrinsic flow-dependent relaxation, and largely inhibited extrinsic flow-dependent relaxation. Western blotting demonstrated that both PKG-I and -I isoforms are found in TD, with ~10 times greater expression of the PKG-I protein in TD compared with the aorta and vena cava. The PKG-I isoform expressed equally in TD and vena cava, both being ~2 times higher than that in the aorta. Immunofluorescent labelling of PKG-I protein in the wall of rat thoracic duct confirmed its localization inside TD muscle cells. These findings demonstrate that cGMP is critical to the flow-dependent regulation of TD contractility; they also indicate an important involvement of PKG, especially PKG-I in these processes and identifies PKG protein as a potential therapeutic target.
Gastrointestinal extracellular recordings have been a core technique in motility research for a century. However, the bioelectrical basis of extracellular data has recently been challenged by claims that these techniques preferentially assay movement artifacts, cannot reproduce the underlying slow wave kinetics, and misrepresent the true slow wave frequency. These claims motivated this joint experimental–theoretical study, which aimed to define the sources and validity of extracellular potentials. In vivo extracellular recordings and video capture were performed in the porcine jejunum, before and after intra-arterial nifedipine administration. Gastric extracellular recordings were recorded simultaneously using conventional serosal contact and suction electrodes, and biphasic and monophasic extracellular potentials were simulated in a biophysical model. Contractions were abolished by nifedipine, but extracellular slow waves persisted, with unchanged amplitude, downstroke rate, velocity, and downstroke width (P > 0.10 for all), at reduced frequency (24% lower; P = 0.03). Simultaneous suction and conventional serosal extracellular recordings were identical in phase (frequency and activation–recovery interval), but varied in morphology (monophasic vs. biphasic; downstroke rate and amplitude: P < 0.0001). Simulations demonstrated the field contribution of current flow to extracellular potential and quantified the effects of localised depolarisation due to suction pressure on extracellular potential morphology. In sum, these results demonstrate that gastrointestinal extracellular slow wave recordings cannot be explained by motion artifacts, and are of a bioelectrical origin that is highly consistent with the underlying biophysics of slow wave propagation. Motion suppression is shown to be unnecessary as a routine control in in vivo extracellular studies, supporting the validity of the extant gastrointestinal extracellular literature.
Evidence from the pathology in cystic fibrosis (CF) and recent results in vitro indicate that HCO3– is required for gel-forming mucins to form the mucus that protects epithelial surfaces. Mucus formation and release is a complex process that begins with an initial intracellular phase of synthesis, packaging and apical granule exocytosis that is followed by an extracellular phase of mucin swelling, transport and discharge into a lumen. Exactly where HCO3– becomes crucial in these processes is unknown, but we observed that in the presence of HCO3–, stimulating dissected segments of native mouse intestine with 5-hydroxytryptamine (5–HT) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) induced goblet cell exocytosis followed by normal mucin discharge in wild-type (WT) intestines. CF intestines that inherently lack cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR)-dependent HCO3– secretion also demonstrated apparently normal goblet cell exocytosis, but in contrast, this was not followed by similar mucin discharge. Moreover, we found that even in the presence of HCO3–, when WT intestines were stimulated only with a Ca2+-mediated agonist (carbachol), exocytosis was followed by poor discharge as with CF intestines. However, when the Ca2+-mediated agonist was combined with a cAMP-mediated agonist (isoproterenol (isoprenaline) or vasoactive intestinal peptide) in the presence of HCO3– both normal exocytosis and normal discharge was observed. These results indicate that normal mucus formation requires concurrent activation of a Ca2+-mediated exocytosis of mucin granules and an independent cAMP-mediated, CFTR-dependent, HCO3– secretion that appears to mainly enhance the extracellular phases of mucus excretion.
ATP release and Ca2+ signalling by human bronchial epithelial cells following Alternaria aeroallergen exposure
Exposure of human bronchial epithelial (HBE) cells from normal and asthmatic subjects to extracts from Alternaria alternata evoked a rapid and sustained release of ATP with greater efficacy observed in epithelial cells from asthmatic patients. Previously, Alternaria allergens were shown to produce a sustained increase in intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) that was dependent on the coordinated activation of specific purinergic receptor (P2Y2 and P2X7) subtypes. In the present study, pretreatment with a cell-permeable Ca2+-chelating compound (BAPTA-AM) significantly inhibited ATP release, indicating dependency on [Ca2+]i. Alternaria-evoked ATP release exhibited a greater peak response and a slightly lower EC50 value in cells obtained from asthmatic donors compared to normal control cells. Furthermore, the maximum increase in [Ca2+]i resulting from Alternaria treatment was greater in cells from asthmatic patients compared to normal subjects. The vesicle transport inhibitor brefeldin A and BAPTA-AM significantly blocked Alternaria-stimulated incorporation of fluorescent lipid (FM1-43)-labelled vesicles into the plasma membrane and ATP release. In addition, inhibiting uptake of ATP into exocytotic vesicles with bafilomycin also reduced ATP release comparable to the effects of brefeldin A and BAPTA-AM. These results indicate that an important mechanism for Alternaria-induced ATP release is Ca2+ dependent and involves exocytosis of ATP. Serine and cysteine protease inhibitors also reduced Alternaria-induced ATP release; however, the sustained increase in [Ca2+]i typically observed following Alternaria exposure appeared to be independent of protease-activated receptor (PAR2) stimulation.
Eccentric contractions increase the phosphorylation of tuberous sclerosis complex-2 (TSC2) and alter the targeting of TSC2 and the mechanistic target of rapamycin to the lysosome
The goal of this study was to determine whether the mechanical activation of mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) signalling is associated with changes in phosphorylation of tuberous sclerosis complex-2 (TSC2) and targeting of mTOR and TSC2 to the lysosome. As a source of mechanical stimulation, mouse skeletal muscles were subjected to eccentric contractions (ECs). The results demonstrated that ECs induced hyper-phosphorylation of TSC2 and at least part of this increase occurred on residue(s) that fall within RxRxxS/T consensus motif(s). Furthermore, in control muscles, we found that both mTOR and TSC2 are highly enriched at the lysosome. Intriguingly, ECs enhanced the lysosomal association of mTOR and almost completely abolished the lysosomal association of TSC2. Based on these results, we developed a new model that could potentially explain how mechanical stimuli activate mTOR signalling. Furthermore, this is the first study to reveal that the activation of mTOR is associated with the translocation of TSC2 away from the lysosome. Since a large number of signalling pathways rely on TSC2 to control mTOR signalling, our results have potentially revealed a fundamental mechanism via which not only mechanical, but also various other types of stimuli, control mTOR signalling.
Physical activity is associated with retained muscle metabolism in human myotubes challenged with palmitate
The aim of this study was to investigate whether physical activity is associated with preserved muscle metabolism in human myotubes challenged with saturated fatty acids. Human muscle satellite cells were isolated from sedentary or active individuals and differentiated into myocytes in culture. Metabolic differences were then investigated in the basal state or after chronic palmitate treatment. At basal, myocytes from sedentary individuals exhibited higher CD36 and HSP70 protein expression as well as elevated phosphorylation of c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) and insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS1) serine307 compared to myocytes from active individuals. Despite equal lipid accumulation following palmitate treatment, myocytes from sedentary individuals exhibited delayed acetyl coenzyme A carboxylase phosphorylation compared to the active group. Myocytes from sedentary individuals had significantly higher basal glucose uptake and palmitate promoted insulin resistance in sedentary myocytes. Importantly, myocytes from active individuals were partially protected from palmitate-induced insulin resistance. Palmitate treatment enhanced IRS1 serine307 phosphorylation in myocytes from sedentary individuals and correlated positively to JNK phosphorylation. In conclusion, muscle satellite cells retain metabolic differences associated with physical activity. Physical activity partially protects myocytes from fatty acid-induced insulin resistance and inactivity is associated with dysregulation of metabolism in satellite cells challenged with palmitate. Although the benefits of physical activity on whole body physiology have been well investigated, this paper presents novel findings that both diet and exercise impact satellite cells directly. Given the fact that satellite cells are important for muscle maintenance, a dysregulated function could have profound effects on health. Therefore the effects of lifestyle on satellite cells needs to be delineated.
Regulation of miRNAs in human skeletal muscle following acute endurance exercise and short-term endurance training
The identification of microRNAs (miRNAs) has established new mechanisms that control skeletal muscle adaptation to exercise. The present study investigated the mRNA regulation of components of the miRNA biogenesis pathway (Drosha, Dicer and Exportin-5), muscle enriched miRNAs, (miR-1, -133a, -133b and -206), and several miRNAs dysregulated in muscle myopathies (miR-9, -23, -29, -31 and -181). Measurements were made in muscle biopsies from nine healthy untrained males at rest, 3 h following an acute bout of moderate-intensity endurance cycling and following 10 days of endurance training. Bioinformatics analysis was used to predict potential miRNA targets. In the 3 h period following the acute exercise bout, Drosha, Dicer and Exportin-5, as well as miR-1, -133a, -133-b and -181a were all increased. In contrast miR-9, -23a, -23b and -31 were decreased. Short-term training increased miR-1 and -29b, while miR-31 remained decreased. Negative correlations were observed between miR-9 and HDAC4 protein (r = –0.71; P = 0.04), miR-31 and HDAC4 protein (r = –0.87; P = 0.026) and miR-31 and NRF1 protein (r = –0.77; P = 0.01) 3 h following exercise. miR-31 binding to the HDAC4 and NRF1 3 untranslated region (UTR) reduced luciferase reporter activity. Exercise rapidly and transiently regulates several miRNA species in muscle. Several of these miRNAs may be involved in the regulation of skeletal muscle regeneration, gene transcription and mitochondrial biogenesis. Identifying endurance exercise-mediated stress signals regulating skeletal muscle miRNAs, as well as validating their targets and regulatory pathways post exercise, will advance our understanding of their potential role/s in human health.
Skeletal muscle carnitine loading increases energy expenditure, modulates fuel metabolism gene networks and prevents body fat accumulation in humans
Twelve weeks of daily l-carnitine and carbohydrate feeding in humans increases skeletal muscle total carnitine content, and prevents body mass accrual associated with carbohydrate feeding alone. Here we determined the influence of l-carnitine and carbohydrate feeding on energy metabolism, body fat mass and muscle expression of fuel metabolism genes. Twelve males exercised at 50% maximal oxygen consumption for 30 min once before and once after 12 weeks of twice daily feeding of 80 g carbohydrate (Control, n = 6) or 1.36 g l-carnitine + 80 g carbohydrate (Carnitine, n = 6). Maximal carnitine palmitolytransferase 1 (CPT1) activity remained similar in both groups over 12 weeks. However, whereas muscle total carnitine, long-chain acyl-CoA and whole-body energy expenditure did not change over 12 weeks in Control, they increased in Carnitine by 20%, 200% and 6%, respectively (P < 0.05). Moreover, body mass and whole-body fat mass (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) increased over 12 weeks in Control by 1.9 and 1.8 kg, respectively (P < 0.05), but did not change in Carnitine. Seventy-three of 187 genes relating to fuel metabolism were upregulated in Carnitine vs. Control after 12 weeks, with ‘insulin signalling', ‘peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor signalling' and ‘fatty acid metabolism' as the three most enriched pathways in gene functional analysis. In conclusion, increasing muscle total carnitine in healthy humans can modulate muscle metabolism, energy expenditure and body composition over a prolonged period, which is entirely consistent with a carnitine-mediated increase in muscle long-chain acyl-group translocation via CPT1. Implications to health warrant further investigation, particularly in obese individuals who have a reduced reliance on muscle fat oxidation during low-intensity exercise.
We describe swallowing reflexes evoked by laryngeal and tracheal vagal afferent nerve stimulation in anaesthetized guinea pigs. The swallowing reflexes evoked by laryngeal citric acid challenges were abolished by recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) transection and mimicked by electrical stimulation of the central cut ends of an RLN. By contrast, the number of swallows evoked by upper airway/pharyngeal distensions was not significantly reduced by RLN transection but they were virtually abolished by superior laryngeal nerve transection. Laryngeal citric acid-evoked swallowing was mimicked by laryngeal capsaicin challenges, implicating transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1)-expressing laryngeal afferent nerves arising from the jugular ganglia. The swallowing evoked by citric acid and capsaicin and evoked by electrical stimulation of either the tracheal or the laryngeal mucosa occurred at stimulation intensities that were typically subthreshold for evoking cough in these animals. Swallowing evoked by airway afferent nerve stimulation also desensitized at a much slower rate than cough. We speculate that swallowing is an essential component of airway protection from aspiration associated with laryngeal and tracheal afferent nerve activation.
Congenital long QT syndrome (LQTS) is caused by single autosomal-dominant mutations in a gene encoding for a cardiac ion channel or an accessory ion channel subunit. These single mutations can cause life-threatening arrhythmias and sudden death in heterozygous mutation carriers. This recognition has been the basis for world-wide staggering numbers of subjects and families counselled for LQTS and treated based on finding (putative) disease-causing mutations. However, prophylactic treatment of patients is greatly hampered by the growing awareness that simple carriership of a mutation often fails to predict clinical outcome: many carriers never develop clinically relevant disease while others are severely affected at a young age. It is still largely elusive what determines this large variability in disease severity, where even within one pedigree, an identical mutation can cause life-threatening arrhythmias in some carriers while in other carriers no disease becomes clinically manifested. This suggests that additional factors modify the clinical manifestations of a particular disease-causing mutation. In this article, potential demographic, environmental and genetic factors are reviewed, which, in conjunction with a mutation, may modify the phenotype in LQTS, and thereby determine, at least partially, the large variability in disease severity.