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Mechanisms involved in the cross-talk between humoral and mechanical cues underlying muscle wasting in cachexia

Abstract : Cachexia is a multifactorial syndrome associated to chronic or acute disease (cancer, HIV,…) and characterized by severe muscle wasting. In fact, exercise training improves quality of life and survival of cancer patients. In an animal model of cancer cachexia we demonstrated that wheel running counteracts cachexia by releasing the autophagic flux. Exercise pleitropic effects include the alteration of circulating factors in favour of an anti-inflammatory environment and the activation of mechanotransduction pathways in muscle cells. Our goal is to assess whether mechanostransduciton per se is sufficient to elicit exercise effects in the presence of pro-cachectic factors of tumor origin. Serum response factor (SRF) is a transcription factor of pivotal importance for muscle homeostasis, which is activated with its co-factor MRTF by mechanostranduction in a way dependent on actin polymerisation. We use mixed cultures of C2C12 myotubes and myoblasts treated with C26 conditioned medium (CM) in the absence or presence of cyclic stretch to mimic the mechanical stimulation occurring upon exercise. In vitro we showed that CM had a negative effect on muscle cell cultures, both in terms of myotube atrophy and of myoblast recruitment and fusion, and that these effects were counteracted by cyclic stretch. We showed that CM repressed SRF-MRTF transcriptional activity, while mechanical stretch rescued their transcriptional activity; in addition, loss of function experiments demonstrated that SRF was necessary to mediate the beneficial effects of mechanical stimulation on muscle cells. At least part of the observed effects was mediated by the balance of pro- and anti-myogenic factor of the TGF-b superfamily. We propose that the positive effects of exercise on cancer patients and mice may be specifically due to a mechanical response of muscle fibers affecting the secretion of myokines.
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Alexandra Baccam. Mechanisms involved in the cross-talk between humoral and mechanical cues underlying muscle wasting in cachexia. Tissues and Organs [q-bio.TO]. Sorbonne Université; Università degli studi La Sapienza (Rome), 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018SORUS107⟩. ⟨tel-02345574⟩

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