Glucocorticoids and Skeletal Muscle

Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 872)


Glucocorticoids are known to regulate protein metabolism in skeletal muscle, producing a catabolic effect that is opposite that of insulin. In many catabolic diseases, such as sepsis, starvation, and cancer cachexia, endogenous glucocorticoids are elevated contributing to the loss of muscle mass and function. Further, exogenous glucocorticoids are often given acutely and chronically to treat inflammatory conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and rheumatoid arthritis, resulting in muscle atrophy. This chapter will detail the nature of glucocorticoid-induced muscle atrophy and discuss the mechanisms thought to be responsible for the catabolic effects of glucocorticoids on muscle.


Muscle atrophy Protein synthesis Proteolysis Ubiquitin proteasome pathway Gene transcription 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and BehaviorUniversity of California, DavisDavisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Physiology and Membrane BiologyUniversity of California, DavisDavisUSA

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