The nuclear factor-κB (NFκB) pathway is a major thoroughfare for skeletal muscle atrophy and is driven by diverse stimuli. Targeted inhibition of NFκB through its canonical mediator IKKβ effectively mitigates loss of muscle mass across many conditions, from denervation to unloading to cancer. In this study, we used gain- and loss-of-function mouse models to examine the role of NFκB in muscle atrophy following rotator cuff tenotomy - a model of chronic rotator cuff tear. IKKβ was knocked down or constitutively activated in muscle-specific inducible transgenic mice to elicit a 2-fold gain or loss of NFκB signaling. Surprisingly, neither knockdown of IKKβ nor overexpression of caIKKβ significantly altered the loss of muscle mass following tenotomy. This finding was consistent across measures of morphological adaptation (fiber cross-sectional area, fiber length, fiber number), tissue pathology (fibrosis and fatty infiltration) and intracellular signaling (ubiquitin-proteasome, autophagy). Intriguingly, late-stage tenotomy-induced atrophy was exacerbated in male mice compared to female mice. This sex specificity was driven by ongoing decreases in fiber cross-sectional area, which paralleled the accumulation of large autophagic vesicles in male, but not female muscle. These findings suggest that tenotomy-induced atrophy is not dependent on NFκB and instead may be regulated by autophagy in a sex-specific manner.
All data generated or analyzed during this study are included. Data files have been provided for all Figures.
- Gretchen A Meyer
- Gretchen A Meyer
- Stavros Thomopoulos
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All animal work described was performed in accordance with the National Institutes of Health's Guide for the Use and Care of Laboratory Animals and was approved by the Animal Studies Committee of the Washington University School of Medicine (IACUC 20-0459).
- Jameel Iqbal, DaVita Labs, United States
© 2022, Meyer et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
The canonical target of the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R), Protein Kinase A (PKA), has been shown to stimulate mechanistic Target of Rapamycin Complex 1 (mTORC1) by phosphorylating the mTOR-regulating protein Raptor at Ser791 following β-adrenergic stimulation. The objective of these studies is to test whether GLP-1R agonists similarly stimulate mTORC1 via PKA phosphorylation of Raptor at Ser791 and whether this contributes to the weight loss effect of the therapeutic GLP-1R agonist liraglutide. We measured phosphorylation of the mTORC1 signaling target ribosomal protein S6 in Chinese Hamster Ovary cells expressing GLP-1R (CHO-Glp1r) treated with liraglutide in combination with PKA inhibitors. We also assessed liraglutide-mediated phosphorylation of the PKA substrate RRXS*/T* motif in CHO-Glp1r cells expressing Myc-tagged wild-type (WT) Raptor or a PKA-resistant (Ser791Ala) Raptor mutant. Finally, we measured the body weight response to liraglutide in WT mice and mice with a targeted knock-in of PKA-resistant Ser791Ala Raptor. Liraglutide increased phosphorylation of S6 and the PKA motif in WT Raptor in a PKA-dependent manner but failed to stimulate phosphorylation of the PKA motif in Ser791Ala Raptor in CHO-Glp1r cells. Lean Ser791Ala Raptor knock-in mice were resistant to liraglutide-induced weight loss but not setmelanotide-induced (melanocortin-4 receptor-dependent) weight loss. Diet-induced obese Ser791Ala Raptor knock-in mice were not resistant to liraglutide-induced weight loss; however, there was weight-dependent variation such that there was a tendency for obese Ser791Ala Raptor knock-in mice of lower relative body weight to be resistant to liraglutide-induced weight loss compared to weight-matched controls. Together, these findings suggest that PKA-mediated phosphorylation of Raptor at Ser791 contributes to liraglutide-induced weight loss.
Although there are several efficacious vaccines against COVID-19, vaccination rates in many regions around the world remain insufficient to prevent continued high disease burden and emergence of viral variants. Repurposing of existing therapeutics that prevent or mitigate severe COVID-19 could help to address these challenges. The objective of this study was to determine whether prior use of bisphosphonates is associated with reduced incidence and/or severity of COVID-19.
A retrospective cohort study utilizing payer-complete health insurance claims data from 8,239,790 patients with continuous medical and prescription insurance January 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020 was performed. The primary exposure of interest was use of any bisphosphonate from January 1, 2019 to February 29, 2020. Bisphosphonate users were identified as patients having at least one bisphosphonate claim during this period, who were then 1:1 propensity score-matched to bisphosphonate non-users by age, gender, insurance type, primary-care-provider visit in 2019, and comorbidity burden. Main outcomes of interest included: (a) any testing for SARS-CoV-2 infection; (b) COVID-19 diagnosis; and (c) hospitalization with a COVID-19 diagnosis between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2020. Multiple sensitivity analyses were also performed to assess core study outcomes amongst more restrictive matches between BP users/non-users, as well as assessing the relationship between BP-use and other respiratory infections (pneumonia, acute bronchitis) both during the same study period as well as before the COVID outbreak.
A total of 7,906,603 patients for whom continuous medical and prescription insurance information was available were selected. A total of 450,366 bisphosphonate users were identified and 1:1 propensity score-matched to bisphosphonate non-users. Bisphosphonate users had lower odds ratios (OR) of testing for SARS-CoV-2 infection (OR = 0.22; 95%CI:0.21–0.23; p<0.001), COVID-19 diagnosis (OR = 0.23; 95%CI:0.22–0.24; p<0.001), and COVID-19-related hospitalization (OR = 0.26; 95%CI:0.24–0.29; p<0.001). Sensitivity analyses yielded results consistent with the primary analysis. Bisphosphonate-use was also associated with decreased odds of acute bronchitis (OR = 0.23; 95%CI:0.22–0.23; p<0.001) or pneumonia (OR = 0.32; 95%CI:0.31–0.34; p<0.001) in 2019, suggesting that bisphosphonates may protect against respiratory infections by a variety of pathogens, including but not limited to SARS-CoV-2.
Prior bisphosphonate-use was associated with dramatically reduced odds of SARS-CoV-2 testing, COVID-19 diagnosis, and COVID-19-related hospitalizations. Prospective clinical trials will be required to establish a causal role for bisphosphonate-use in COVID-19-related outcomes.
This study was supported by NIH grants, AR068383 and AI155865, a grant from MassCPR (to UHvA) and a CRI Irvington postdoctoral fellowship, CRI2453 (to PH).