2Lomonosov Moscow Academy of Fine Chemical Technology, pr. Vernadskogo 86, 119571 Moscow, Russia
3Emanuel Institute of Biochemical Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Kosygina 4, 119334 Moscow, Russia
4Institute for Bio-Medical Problems, Russian Academy of Sciences, Khoroshevskoe Shosse 76a, 123007 Moscow, Russia
* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received May 12, 2010; Revision received February 2, 2011
Cytoskeletal and contractile proteins degenerate during functional unloading of muscle. The ratio of myosin heavy chain (MHC) expression changes simultaneously. We have supposed that NO can be a signal molecule related to the regulation of protein metabolism upon muscle unloading. To test this hypothesis, Wistar rats underwent functional unloading for 14 days without and with peroral administration of L-arginine (500 mg/kg) as NO precursor. Significant decreases in m. soleus mass, NO, nNOS, dystrophin, Hsp90, p-S6K, and type I MHC mRNA contents were found in the group of animals with unloading without preparation compared to those in control and in the group with unloading and administration of L-arginine; at the same time, increased contents of atrogin-1/MAFbx and MuRF-1 (p < 0.05) were found. No difference in the IGF-1 mRNA content between all three groups was found. Atrophy was significantly less pronounced in the group with unloading and L-arginine administration compared to that without the amino acid, and no destruction of cytoskeletal proteins was observed. We conclude that administration of L-arginine upon functional unloading decreases the extent of m. soleus atrophy, prevents the decrease in it of type I MHC mRNA, and blocks destructive changes in some cytoskeletal proteins. Such effect can be due to the absence of increase in this group of the content of some ubiquitin ligases and decreased intensity of the p70S6 kinase synthesis marker.
KEY WORDS: m. soleus atrophy, L-arginine administration, cytoskeletal proteins, NO, nNOS, Hsp90, E3 ligases, P70/S6k, IGF-1, MHC