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Altered signaling for mitochondrial and myofibrillar biogenesis in skeletal muscles of patients with multiple sclerosis

Dominique Hansen, Inez Wens, Frank Vandenabeele, Kenneth Verboven, Bert O. Eijndea

Translational Research, In Press, Accepted Manuscript, Available online 20 January 2015


Patients with multiple sclerosis (pwMS) experience muscle weakness and lowered muscle oxidative capacity. To explore the etiology for the development of such muscle phenotype we studied skeletal muscle AMP-activated protein kinase phosphorylation (phospho-AMPKα, governing mitochondrial biogenesis) and mammalian target of rapamycin phosphorylation (phospho-mTOR, governing myofibrillar biogenesis) in pwMS. After assessment of body composition, muscle strength, exercise tolerance, and muscle fiber type, muscle phospho-AMPKα and phospho-mTOR were assessed in 14 pwMS and 10 healthy controls (part 1). Next, an endurance exercise bout was executed by 9 pwMS and 7 healthy subjects, with assessment of changes in muscle phospho-AMPKα and phospho-mTOR (part 2). Increased basal muscle phospho-AMPKα and phospho-mTOR were present in MS (P < 0.01) and independently related to MS. Correlations between muscle phospho-AMPKα or phospho-mTOR and whole-body fat mass, peak oxygen uptake, and expanded disability status scale (P < 0.05) were found. After endurance exercise muscle phospho-AMPKα and phospho-mTOR remained increased in pwMS (P < 0.01). Muscle signaling cascades for mitochondrial and myofibrillar biogenesis are altered in MS and related to the impairment and disability level. These findings indicate a link between muscle signaling cascades and the level of disability and impairment, and thus may open a new area for the development of novel therapies for peripheral muscle impairment in MS.

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About the Editors

  • Prof Timothy Vartanian

    Timothy Vartanian, Professor at the Brain and Mind Research Institute and the Department of Neurology, Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell...
  • Dr Claire S. Riley

    Claire S. Riley, MD is an assistant attending neurologist and assistant professor of neurology in the Neurological Institute, Columbia University,...
  • Dr Rebecca Farber

    Rebecca Farber, MD is an attending neurologist and assistant professor of neurology at the Neurological Institute, Columbia University, in New...

This online Resource Centre has been made possible by a donation from EMD Serono, Inc., a business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

Note that EMD Serono, Inc., has no editorial control or influence over the content of this Resource Centre. The Resource Centre and all content therein are subject to an independent editorial review.

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