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REVIEW: Electrical Stimulation of Cultured Myotubes in vitro as a Model of Skeletal Muscle Activity: Current State and Future Prospects

Tatiana F. Vepkhvadze1, Alexander V. Vorotnikov2, and Daniil V. Popov1,3,a*

1Institute of Biomedical Problems, Russian Academy of Sciences, 123007 Moscow, Russia

2National Medical Research Center of Cardiology, Ministry of Healthcare of the Russian Federation, 121552 Moscow, Russia

3Faculty of Fundamental Medicine, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 119991 Moscow, Russia

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received December 24, 2020; Revised April 4, 2021; Accepted April 5, 2021
Skeletal muscles comprise more than a third of human body mass and critically contribute to regulation of body metabolism. Chronic inactivity reduces metabolic activity and functional capacity of muscles, leading to metabolic and other disorders, reduced life quality and duration. Cellular models based on progenitor cells isolated from human muscle biopsies and then differentiated into mature fibers in vitro can be used to solve a wide range of experimental tasks. The review discusses the aspects of myogenesis dynamics and regulation, which might be important in the development of an adequate cell model. The main function of skeletal muscle is contraction; therefore, electrical stimulation is important for both successful completion of myogenesis and in vitro modeling of major processes induced in the skeletal muscle by acute or regular physical exercise. The review analyzes the drawbacks of such cellular model and possibilities for its optimization, as well as the prospects for its further application to address fundamental aspects of muscle physiology and biochemistry and explore cellular and molecular mechanisms of metabolic diseases.
KEY WORDS: skeletal muscle, physical exercise, satellite cells, myogenesis, electrical stimulation, metabolism, gene expression

DOI: 10.1134/S0006297921050084