Intrinsic contractile dysfunction due to impaired sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ release in compensatory hypertrophied muscle fibers following synergist ablation

American journal of physiology. Cell physiology(2023)

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Synergist ablation (SA) is an experimental procedure for the induction of hypertrophy. However, SA causes a decrease in specific force (i.e., force per cross-sectional area), likely due to excessive muscle use. Here, we investigated the mechanisms behind the SA-induced intrinsic contractile dysfunction, especially focusing on the excitation-contraction (EC) coupling. Male Wistar rats had unilateral surgical ablation of gastrocnemius and soleus muscles to induce compensatory hypertrophy in the plantaris muscles. Two weeks after SA, plantaris muscle was dissected from each animal and used for later analyses. SA significantly increased the mean fiber cross-sectional area (+18%). On the other hand, the ratio of depolarization-induced force to the maximum Ca2+-activated specific force, an indicator of sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+ release, was markedly reduced in mechanically skinned fibers from the SA group (-51%). These functional defects were accompanied by an extensive fragmentation of the SR Ca2+ release channel, the ryanodine receptor 1 (RyR1), and a decrease in the amount of other triad proteins (i.e., DHPR, STAC3, and junctophilin1). SA treatment also caused activation of calpain-1 and increased the amount of NADPH oxidase 2, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress proteins (i.e., Grp78, Grp94, PDI, and Ero1), and lipid peroxidation [i.e., 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE)] in SA-treated muscles. Our findings show that SA causes skeletal muscle weakness due to impaired EC coupling. This is likely to be induced by Ca2+-dependent degradation of triad proteins, which may result from Ca2+ leak from fragmented RyR1 triggered by increased oxidative stress.
excitation-contraction coupling, overload, overuse, specific force, synergist ablation
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