Triptolide prevents lipopolysaccharide_induced skeletal muscle atrophy via inhibiting NF__B and TNF__ and regulating protein synthesis and degradation pathway

WY Fang, YT Tseng, TY Lee et al

Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, 100 Shih-Chuan 1st Road, Kaohsiung 80708, Taiwan.

British Journal of Pharmacology

Background and Purpose Increasing evidence suggests systemic inflammation-caused skeletal muscle atrophy as a major clinical feature of cachexia. Triptolide obtained from Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F possesses potent anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects. The present study aims to evaluate the protective effects and molecular mechanisms of triptolide on inflammation-induced skeletal muscle atrophy.
Experimental Approach The effects of triptolide on skeletal muscle atrophy were investigated in LPS-treated C2C12 myotubes and C57BL/6 mice. Protein expressions and mRNA levels were analysed by western blot and qPCR, respectively. Skeletal muscle mass, volume and strength were measured by histological analysis, micro-CT and grip strength, respectively. Locomotor activity was measured using the open field test.
KEY RESULTS Triptolide (10–100_fM) up-regulated protein synthesis signals (IGF-1/p-IGF-1R/IRS-1/p-Akt/p-mTOR) and down-regulated protein degradation signal atrogin-1 in C2C12 myotubes. In LPS (100_ng·ml_1)-treated C2C12 myotubes, triptolide up-regulated MyHC, IGF-1, p-IGF-1R, IRS-1 and p-Akt. Triptolide also down-regulated ubiquitin-proteasome molecules (n-FoxO3a/atrogin-1/MuRF1), proteasome activity, autophagy-lysosomal molecules (LC3-II/LC3-I and Bnip3) and inflammatory mediators (NF-_B, Cox-2, NLRP3, IL-1beta and TNF-alpha). However, AG1024, an IGF-1R inhibitor, suppressed triptolide-mediated effects on MyHC, myotube diameter, MuRF1 and p62 in LPS-treated C2C12 myotubes. In LPS (1 mg·kg_1, i.p.)-challenged mice, triptolide (5 and 20_microg·kg_1·day_1, i.p.) decreased plasma TNF-_ levels and it increased skeletal muscle volume, cross-sectional area of myofibers, weights of the gastrocnemius and tibialis anterior muscles, forelimb grip strength and locomotion.
Conclusions and Implications These findings reveal that triptolide prevented LPS-induced inflammation and skeletal muscle atrophy and have implications for the discovery of novel agents for preventing muscle wasting.

BIOSEB Instruments Used:
Grip strength test (BIO-GS3)

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