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Concept: Skeletal muscle

163

Insulin resistance is defined as a reduced ability of insulin to stimulate glucose utilization. C57BL/6 mice fed with a high-fat diet (HFD) are a model of insulin resistance. In skeletal muscle, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) produced by NADPH oxidase 2 (NOX2) is involved in signaling pathways triggered by insulin. We evaluated oxidative status in skeletal muscle fibers from insulin-resistant and control mice by determining H2O2 generation (HyPer probe), reduced-to-oxidized glutathione ratio and NOX2 expression. After eight weeks of HFD, insulin-dependent glucose uptake was impaired in skeletal muscle fibers when compared with control muscle fibers. Insulin-resistant mice showed increased insulin-stimulated H2O2 release and decreased reduced-to-oxidized glutathione ratio (GSH/GSSG). In addition, p47phox and gp91phox (NOX2 subunits) mRNA levels were also high (~3-fold in HFD mice compared to controls), while protein levels were 6.8- and 1.6-fold higher, respectively. Using apocynin (NOX2 inhibitor) during the HFD feeding period, the oxidative intracellular environment was diminished and skeletal muscle insulin-dependent glucose uptake restored. Our results indicate that insulin-resistant mice have increased H2O2 release upon insulin stimulation when compared with control animals, which appears to be mediated by an increase in NOX2 expression.

Concepts: Oxygen, Insulin, Glucose, Redox, Glycogen, Hydrogen peroxide, NADPH oxidase, Skeletal muscle

96

Endothelial and smooth muscle cells are considered promising resources for regenerative medicine and cell replacement therapy. It has been shown that both types of cells are heterogeneous depending on the type of vessels and organs in which they are located. Therefore, isolation of endothelial and smooth muscle cells from tissues relevant to the area of research is necessary for the adequate study of specific pathologies. However, sources of specialized human endothelial and smooth muscle cells are limited, and the search for new sources is still relevant. The main goal of our study is to demonstrate that functional endothelial and smooth muscle cells can be obtained from an available source-post-surgically discarded cardiac tissue from the right atrial appendage and right ventricular myocardium.

Concepts: Heart, Cardiac muscle, Actin, Tissues, Muscle contraction, Skeletal muscle, Smooth muscle, Muscular system

65

Regularly performed endurance training has many beneficial effects on health and skeletal muscle function, and can be used to prevent and treat common diseases e.g. cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes and obesity. The molecular adaptation mechanisms regulating these effects are incompletely understood. To date, global transcriptome changes in skeletal muscles have been studied at the gene level only. Therefore, global isoform expression changes following exercise training in humans are unknown. Also, the effects of repeated interventions on transcriptional memory or training response have not been studied before. In this study, 23 individuals trained one leg for three months. Nine months later, 12 of the same subjects trained both legs in a second training period. Skeletal muscle biopsies were obtained from both legs before and after both training periods. RNA sequencing analysis of all 119 skeletal muscle biopsies showed that training altered the expression of 3,404 gene isoforms, mainly associated with oxidative ATP production. Fifty-four genes had isoforms that changed in opposite directions. Training altered expression of 34 novel transcripts, all with protein-coding potential. After nine months of detraining, no training-induced transcriptome differences were detected between the previously trained and untrained legs. Although there were several differences in the physiological and transcriptional responses to repeated training, no coherent evidence of an endurance training induced transcriptional skeletal muscle memory was found. This human lifestyle intervention induced differential expression of thousands of isoforms and several transcripts from unannotated regions of the genome. It is likely that the observed isoform expression changes reflect adaptational mechanisms and processes that provide the functional and health benefits of regular physical activity.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Gene expression, Molecular biology, RNA, Muscle, Physical exercise, Skeletal muscle

64

Tissue engineering approaches have the potential to increase the physiologic relevance of human iPS-derived cells, such as cardiomyocytes (iPS-CM). However, forming Engineered Heart Muscle (EHM) typically requires >1 million cells per tissue. Existing miniaturization strategies involve complex approaches not amenable to mass production, limiting the ability to use EHM for iPS-based disease modeling and drug screening. Micro-scale cardiospheres are easily produced, but do not facilitate assembly of elongated muscle or direct force measurements. Here we describe an approach that combines features of EHM and cardiospheres: Micro-Heart Muscle (μHM) arrays, in which elongated muscle fibers are formed in an easily fabricated template, with as few as 2,000 iPS-CM per individual tissue. Within μHM, iPS-CM exhibit uniaxial contractility and alignment, robust sarcomere assembly, and reduced variability and hypersensitivity in drug responsiveness, compared to monolayers with the same cellular composition. μHM mounted onto standard force measurement apparatus exhibited a robust Frank-Starling response to external stretch, and a dose-dependent inotropic response to the β-adrenergic agonist isoproterenol. Based on the ease of fabrication, the potential for mass production and the small number of cells required to form μHM, this system provides a potentially powerful tool to study cardiomyocyte maturation, disease and cardiotoxicology in vitro.

Concepts: Heart, Muscle, Cardiac muscle, Skeletal muscle, Smooth muscle, Muscular system, Sarcomere, Troponin

43

Triclosan (TCS), a high-production-volume chemical used as a bactericide in personal care products, is a priority pollutant of growing concern to human and environmental health. TCS is capable of altering the activity of type 1 ryanodine receptor (RyR1), but its potential to influence physiological excitation-contraction coupling (ECC) and muscle function has not been investigated. Here, we report that TCS impairs ECC of both cardiac and skeletal muscle in vitro and in vivo. TCS acutely depresses hemodynamics and grip strength in mice at doses ≥12.5 mg/kg i.p., and a concentration ≥0.52 μM in water compromises swimming performance in larval fathead minnow. In isolated ventricular cardiomyocytes, skeletal myotubes, and adult flexor digitorum brevis fibers TCS depresses electrically evoked ECC within ∼10-20 min. In myotubes, nanomolar to low micromolar TCS initially potentiates electrically evoked Ca(2+) transients followed by complete failure of ECC, independent of Ca(2+) store depletion or block of RyR1 channels. TCS also completely blocks excitation-coupled Ca(2+) entry. Voltage clamp experiments showed that TCS partially inhibits L-type Ca(2+) currents of cardiac and skeletal muscle, and [(3)H]PN200 binding to skeletal membranes is noncompetitively inhibited by TCS in the same concentration range that enhances [(3)H]ryanodine binding. TCS potently impairs orthograde and retrograde signaling between L-type Ca(2+) and RyR channels in skeletal muscle, and L-type Ca(2+) entry in cardiac muscle, revealing a mechanism by which TCS weakens cardiac and skeletal muscle contractility in a manner that may negatively impact muscle health, especially in susceptible populations.

Concepts: Heart, Muscle, Cardiac muscle, Ryanodine receptor, Skeletal muscle, Smooth muscle, Muscular system, Striated muscle

40

The 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster exposed embryos of pink salmon and Pacific herring to crude oil in shoreline spawning habitats throughout Prince William Sound, Alaska. The herring fishery collapsed four years later. The role of the spill, if any, in this decline remains one of the most controversial unanswered questions in modern natural resource injury assessment. Crude oil disrupts excitation-contraction coupling in fish heart muscle cells, and we show here that salmon and herring exposed as embryos to trace levels of crude oil grow into juveniles with abnormal hearts and reduced cardiorespiratory function, the latter a key determinant of individual survival and population recruitment. Oil exposure during cardiogenesis led to specific defects in the outflow tract and compact myocardium, and a hypertrophic response in spongy myocardium, evident in juveniles 7 to 9 months after exposure. The thresholds for developmental cardiotoxicity were remarkably low, suggesting the scale of the Exxon Valdez impact in shoreline spawning habitats was much greater than previously appreciated. Moreover, an irreversible loss of cardiac fitness and consequent increases in delayed mortality in oil-exposed cohorts may have been important contributors to the delayed decline of pink salmon and herring stocks in Prince William Sound.

Concepts: Heart, Fish, Muscle, Cardiac muscle, Skeletal muscle, Exxon Valdez oil spill, Exxon Valdez, Valdez, Alaska

35

The development of three-dimensional (3D) synthetic biomaterials as structural and bioactive scaffolds is central to fields ranging from cellular biophysics to regenerative medicine. As of yet, these scaffolds cannot electrically probe the physicochemical and biological microenvironments throughout their 3D and macroporous interior, although this capability could have a marked impact in both electronics and biomaterials. Here, we address this challenge using macroporous, flexible and free-standing nanowire nanoelectronic scaffolds (nanoES), and their hybrids with synthetic or natural biomaterials. 3D macroporous nanoES mimic the structure of natural tissue scaffolds, and they were formed by self-organization of coplanar reticular networks with built-in strain and by manipulation of 2D mesh matrices. NanoES exhibited robust electronic properties and have been used alone or combined with other biomaterials as biocompatible extracellular scaffolds for 3D culture of neurons, cardiomyocytes and smooth muscle cells. Furthermore, we show the integrated sensory capability of the nanoES by real-time monitoring of the local electrical activity within 3D nanoES/cardiomyocyte constructs, the response of 3D-nanoES-based neural and cardiac tissue models to drugs, and distinct pH changes inside and outside tubular vascular smooth muscle constructs.

Concepts: Heart, Cardiac muscle, Actin, Muscle contraction, Skeletal muscle, Smooth muscle, Muscular system, Vascular smooth muscle

32

Smooth muscle sphincters exhibit basal tone and control passage of contents through organs such as the gastrointestinal tract; loss of this tone leads to disorders such as faecal incontinence. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this tone remain unknown. Here, we show that deletion of myosin light-chain kinases (MLCK) in the smooth muscle cells from internal anal sphincter (IAS-SMCs) abolishes basal tone, impairing defecation. Pharmacological regulation of ryanodine receptors (RyRs), L-type voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels (VDCCs) or TMEM16A Ca(2+)-activated Cl(-) channels significantly changes global cytosolic Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)]i) and the tone. TMEM16A deletion in IAS-SMCs abolishes the effects of modulators for TMEM16A or VDCCs on a RyR-mediated rise in global [Ca(2+)]i and impairs the tone and defecation. Hence, MLCK activation in IAS-SMCs caused by a global rise in [Ca(2+)]i via a RyR-TMEM16A-VDCC signalling module sets the basal tone. Targeting this module may lead to new treatments for diseases like faecal incontinence.

Concepts: Cardiac muscle, Actin, Stomach, Muscle contraction, Skeletal muscle, Muscular system, Defecation, Sphincter

30

Optogenetics is increasingly used to map brain activation using techniques that rely on functional hyperaemia, such as opto-fMRI. Here we test whether light stimulation protocols similar to those commonly used in opto-fMRI or to study neurovascular coupling modulate blood flow in mice that do not express light sensitive proteins. Combining two-photon laser scanning microscopy and ultrafast functional ultrasound imaging, we report that in the naive mouse brain, light per se causes a calcium decrease in arteriolar smooth muscle cells, leading to pronounced vasodilation, without excitation of neurons and astrocytes. This photodilation is reversible, reproducible and energy-dependent, appearing at about 0.5 mJ. These results impose careful consideration on the use of photo-activation in studies involving blood flow regulation, as well as in studies requiring prolonged and repetitive stimulations to correct cellular defects in pathological models. They also suggest that light could be used to locally increase blood flow in a controlled fashion.

Concepts: Cardiac muscle, Hematology, Actin, Artery, Muscle contraction, Skeletal muscle, Smooth muscle, Muscular system

30

PURPOSE: To determine whether competitive intermittent exercise in the heat affects recovery, aggravates markers of muscle fiber damage, and delay the recovery of performance and muscle glycogen stores. METHODS: Plasma creatine kinase, serum myoglobin, muscle glycogen and performance parameters (sprint, endurance and neuromuscular testing) were evaluated in 17 semiprofessional soccer players before, immediately after and during 48 h of recovery from a match played in 43°C (HOT) and compared to a control match (21°C with similar turf and set-up). RESULTS: Muscle temperature was ~ 1°C higher (P<0.001) following the game in HOT compared to control, and reached individual values between 39.9 and 41.1°C. Serum myoglobin levels increased by more than 3 fold following the matches (P<0.01), but values were not different in HOT compared to control and they were similar to baseline values following 24 h of recovery. Creatine kinase was significantly elevated both immediately and 24 h after the matches, but the response following HOT was reduced compared to control. Muscle glycogen responses were similar across trials and remained depressed for more than 48 h following both matches. Sprint performance and voluntary muscle activation were impaired to a similar extend following the matches (sprint by ~ 2% and voluntary activation by ~ 1.5%; P<0.05). Both of these performance parameters as well as intermittent endurance capacity (estimated by a Yo-Yo IR1 test) were fully recovered 48 h after both matches. CONCLUSIONS: Environmental heat stress does not aggravate the recovery response from competitive intermittent exercise associated with elevated muscle temperatures and markers of muscle damage, delayed resynthesis of muscle glycogen and impaired post-match performance.

Concepts: Muscle, Cardiac muscle, Glycogen, Myosin, Skeletal muscle, Acetylcholine, Rhabdomyolysis, Neuromuscular junction