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Metabolite profile and mitochondrial energetics characterize poor early recovery of muscle mass following hind limb unloading in old mice

By Xiaolei Zhang, Michelle B Trevino, Miao Wang, Stephen J Gardell, Julio E Ayala, Xianlin Han, Daniel P Kelly, Bret H Goodpaster, Rick B Vega, Paul M. Coen

Posted 31 Aug 2017
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/183244 (published DOI: 10.1093/gerona/gly051)

The progression of age-related sarcopenia can be accelerated by impaired recovery of muscle mass following periods of disuse due to illness or immobilization. The molecular underpinnings of poor recovery of aging muscle following disuse remain largely unknown. However, recent evidence suggests that mitochondrial energetics may play an important role. Here, we report that 22-24 month old mice with low muscle mass and insulin resistance display poor early recovery of muscle mass following 10 days of hind limb unloading. We took an unbiased approach to identify changes in energy metabolism gene expression and metabolite pools and show for the first time that persistent mitochondrial dysfunction, dysregulated fatty acid β-oxidation and elevated H2O2 emission underlie poor early recovery of muscle mass following a period of disuse in old mice. Importantly, this is linked to more severe whole-body insulin resistance. The findings suggest that muscle fuel metabolism and mitochondrial energetics should be a focus for mining therapeutic targets to improve recovery of muscle mass following periods of disuse in older animals.

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