TNF-alpha impairs regulation of muscle oxidative phenotype: implications for cachexia?

A H V Remels, H R Gosker, P Schrauwen, P P H Hommelberg, P Sliwinski, M Polkey, J Galdiz, E F M Wouters, R C J Langen, A M W J Schols
FASEB Journal: Official Publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology 2010, 24 (12): 5052-62
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by weight loss, muscle wasting (in advanced disease ultimately resulting in cachexia), and loss of muscle oxidative phenotype (oxphen). This study investigates the effect of inflammation (as a determinant of muscle wasting) on muscle oxphen by using cell studies combined with analyses of muscle biopsies of patients with COPD and control participants. We analyzed markers (citrate synthase, β-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase, and cytochrome c oxidase IV) and regulators (PGC-1α, PPAR-α, and Tfam) of oxphen in vastus lateralis muscle biopsies of patients with advanced COPD and healthy smoking control participants. Here 17 of 73 patients exhibited elevated muscle TNF-α mRNA levels. In these patients, significantly lower mRNA levels of all oxidative markers/regulators were found. Interestingly, these patients also had a significantly lower body mass index and tended to have less muscle mass. In cultured muscle cells, mitochondrial protein content and myosin heavy chain isoform I (but not II) protein and mRNA levels were reduced on chronic TNF-α stimulation. TNF-α also reduced mitochondrial respiration in a nuclear factor kappaB (NF-κB) -dependent manner. Importantly, TNF-α-induced NF-κB activation decreased promoter transactivation and transcriptional activity of regulators of mitochondrial biogenesis and muscle oxphen. In conclusion, these results demonstrate that TNF-α impairs muscle oxphen in a NF-κB-dependent manner.

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