, Volume 67, Issue 3, pp 359-370
Date: 11 Mar 2011

Expression of nuclear-encoded genes involved in mitochondrial biogenesis and dynamics in experimentally denervated muscle

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The abundance, morphology, and functional properties of mitochondria become altered in response to denervation. To gain insight into the regulation of this process, mitochondrial enzyme activities and gene expression involved in mitochondrial biogenesis and dynamics in mouse gastrocnemius muscle was investigated. Sciatic nerve transactions were performed on mice, and then gastrocnemius muscles were isolated at days 5 and 30 after surgery. Muscle weight was decreased significantly by 15% and 62% at days 5 and 30 after surgery, respectively. The activity of citrate synthase, a marker of oxidative enzyme, was reduced significantly by 31% and 53% at days 5 and 30, respectively. Enzyme histochemical analysis revealed that subsarcolemmal mitochondria were largely lost than intermyofibrillar mitochondria at day 5, and this trend was further progressed at day 30 after surgery. Expression levels of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor, γ coactivator 1 (PGC-1)α, estrogen-related receptor α (ERRα), and mitofusin 2 were down-regulated throughout the experimental period, whereas those of PGC-1β, PRC, nuclear respiratory factor (NRF)-1, NRF-2, TFAM, and Lon protease were down-regulated at day 30 after surgery. These results suggest that PGC-1α, ERRα, and mitofusin 2 may be important factors in the process of denervation-induced mitochondrial adaptation. In addition, other PGC-1 family of transcriptional coactivators and DNA binding transcription factors may also contribute to mitochondrial adaptation after early response to denervation.