Elevated mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mROS) and an increase in caspase-3 activity are established mechanisms that lead to skeletal muscle atrophy via the upregulation of protein degradation pathways. However, the mechanisms upstream of an increase in mROS and caspase-3 activity in conditions of muscle atrophy have not been identified. Based upon knowledge that an event known as mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT) causes an increase in mROS emission and the activation of caspase-3 via mitochondrial release of cytochrome c, as well as the circumstantial evidence for MPT in some muscle atrophy conditions, we tested MPT as a mechanism of atrophy. Briefly, treating cultured single mouse flexor digitorum brevis (FDB) fibers from adult mice with a chemical inducer of MPT (Bz423) for 24 h caused an increase in mROS and caspase-3 activity that was accompanied by a reduction in muscle fiber diameter that was able to be prevented by inhibitors of MPT, mROS, or caspase-3 (p < 0.05). Similarly, a four-day single fiber culture as a model of disuse caused atrophy that could be prevented by inhibitors of MPT, mROS, or activated caspase-3. As such, our results identify MPT as a novel mechanism of skeletal muscle atrophy that operates through mROS emission and caspase-3 activation.
- Mitochondrial permeability transition pore
- Skeletal muscle atrophy
ASJC Scopus subject areas