Autophagy is required to maintain muscle mass.
ABSTRACT The ubiquitin-proteasome and autophagy-lysosome pathways are the two major routes for protein and organelle clearance. In skeletal muscle, both systems are under FoxO regulation and their excessive activation induces severe muscle loss. Although altered autophagy has been observed in various myopathies, the specific role of autophagy in skeletal muscle has not been determined by loss-of-function approaches. Here, we report that muscle-specific deletion of a crucial autophagy gene, Atg7, resulted in profound muscle atrophy and age-dependent decrease in force. Atg7 null muscles showed accumulation of abnormal mitochondria, sarcoplasmic reticulum distension, disorganization of sarcomere, and formation of aberrant concentric membranous structures. Autophagy inhibition exacerbated muscle loss during denervation and fasting. Thus, autophagy flux is important to preserve muscle mass and to maintain myofiber integrity. Our results suggest that inhibition/alteration of autophagy can contribute to myofiber degeneration and weakness in muscle disorders characterized by accumulation of abnormal mitochondria and inclusions.
- SourceAvailable from: Peter J M WeijsCritical Care 12/2014; · 4.93 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Autophagy has a large range of physiological functions and its dysregulation contributes to several human disorders, including autoinflammatory/autoimmune diseases such as inflammatory myopathies (IIMs). In order to better understand the pathogenetic mechanisms of these muscular disorders, we sought to define the role of autophagic processes and their relation with the innate immune system in the three main subtypes of IIM, specifically sporadic inclusion body myositis (sIBM), polymyositis (PM), dermatomyositis (DM) and juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM). We found that although the mRNA transcript levels of the autophagy-related genes BECN1, ATG5 and FBXO32 were similar in IIM and controls, autophagy activation in all IIM subgroups was suggested by immunoblotting results and confirmed by immunofluorescence. TLR4 and TLR3, two potent inducers of autophagy, were highly increased in IIM, with TLR4 transcripts significantly more expressed in PM and DM than in JDM, sIBM and controls, and TLR3 transcripts highly up-regulated in all IIM subgroups compared to controls. Co-localization between autophagic marker, LC3, and TLR4 and TLR3 was observed not only in sIBM but also in PM, DM and JDM muscle tissues. Furthermore, a highly association with the autophagic processes was observed in all IIM subgroups also for some TLR4 ligands, endogenous and bacterial HSP60, other than the high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1). These findings indicate that autophagic processes are active not only in sIBM but also in PM, DM and JDM, probably in response to an exogenous or endogenous 'danger signal'. However, autophagic activation and regulation, and also interaction with the innate immune system, differ in each type of IIM. Better understanding of these differences may lead to new therapies for the different IIM types.PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(11):e111490. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Cancer cachexia is a syndrome of weight loss that results from the selective depletion of skeletal muscle mass and contributes significantly to cancer morbidity and mortality. The driver of skeletal muscle atrophy in cancer cachexia is systemic inflammation arising from both the cancer and cancer treatment. While the importance of tumor derived inflammation is well described, the mechanism by which cytotoxic chemotherapy contributes to cancer cachexia is relatively unexplored. We found that the administration of chemotherapy to mice produces a rapid inflammatory response. This drives activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, which increases the circulating level of corticosterone, the predominant endogenous glucocorticoid in rodents. Additionally, chemotherapy administration results in a significant loss of skeletal muscle mass 18 hours after administration with a concurrent induction of genes involved with the ubiquitin proteasome and autophagy lysosome systems. However, in mice lacking glucocorticoid receptor expression in skeletal muscle, chemotherapy-induced muscle atrophy is completely blocked. This demonstrates that cytotoxic chemotherapy elicits significant muscle atrophy driven by the production of endogenous glucocorticoids. Further, it argues that pharmacotherapy targeting the glucocorticoid receptor, given in concert with chemotherapy, is a viable therapeutic strategy in the treatment of cancer cachexia.PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(9):e106489. · 3.53 Impact Factor