To test the hypothesis that p38α-MAPK plays a critical role in the regulation of E3 ligase expression and skeletal muscle atrophy during unloading, we used VX-745, a selective p38α inhibitor. Three groups of rats were used: non-treated control (C), 3 days of unloading/hindlimb suspension (HS), and 3 days HS with VX-745 inhibitor (HSVX; 10 mg/kg/day). Total weight of soleus muscle in HS group was reduced compared to C (72.3 ± 2.5 vs 83.0 ± 3 mg, respectively), whereas muscle weight in the HSVX group was maintained (84.2 ± 5 mg). The expression of muscle RING-finger protein-1 (MuRF1) mRNA was significantly increased in the HS group (165%), but not in the HSVX group (127%), when compared with the C group. The expression of muscle-specific E3 ubiquitin ligases muscle atrophy F-box (MAFbx) mRNA was increased in both HS and HSVX groups (294% and 271%, respectively) when compared with C group. The expression of ubiquitin mRNA was significantly higher in the HS (423%) than in the C and HSVX (200%) groups. VX-745 treatment blocked unloading-induced upregulation of calpain-1 mRNA expression (HS: 120%; HSVX: 107%). These results indicate that p38α-MAPK signaling regulates MuRF1 but not MAFbx E3 ligase expression and inhibits skeletal muscle atrophy during early stages of unloading.
- Muscle unloading
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry