Molecular assessment of muscle health and function

The effect of age, nutrition and physical activity on the human muscle transcriptome and metabolom

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU

Abstract

Prolonged lifespan and decreased fertility will lead to an increased proportion of older adults in the world population (population aging). An important strategy to deal with population aging has been to promote healthy aging; not only to prevent mounting health care costs, but also to maintain independence and quality of life of older populations for as long as possible. Close to the opposite of the healthy aging is frailty. A major component of (physical) frailty is sarcopenia: age-related loss of muscle mass. Decreased muscle size and strength has been associated with a wide variety of negative health outcomes, including increased risk of hospitalization, physical disability and even death. Therefore, maintaining muscle size and strength is very important for healthy aging. Nutrition and physical activity are possible strategies to maintain or even improve muscle function with age.

The effect of nutrition, age, frailty and physical activity on the function of skeletal muscle is complex. A better understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved can provide new insights in potential strategies to maintain muscle function over the life course. This thesis aims to investigate these mechanisms and processes that underlie the effects of age, frailty and physical activity by leveraging the sensitivity and comprehensiveness of transcriptomics and metabolomics.

Chapter 2 and 3 describe the effects of age, frailty and resistance-type exercise training on the skeletal muscle transcriptome and metabolome. Both the transcriptome and metabolome show significant differences between frail and healthy older adults. These differences are similar to the differneces between healthy young men and healthy older adults, suggesting that frailty presents itself as a more pronounced form of aging, somewhat independent of chronological age. These age and frailty related differences in the transcriptome are partially reversed by resistance-type exercise training, in accordance with the observed improvement in muscle strength. Regression analysis revealed that the protocadherin gamma gene cluster may be important to skeletal muscle function. Protocadherin gamma is involved in axon guidance and may be upregulated due to the denervation-reinnervation cycles observed in skeletal muscle of older individuals. The metabolome suggested that resistance-type exercise training led to a decrease in branched-chain amino acid oxidation, as shown by a decrease in amino acid derived carnitines. Lastly, the blood metabolome showed little agreement with the metabolome in skeletal muscle, indicating that blood is a poor read-out of muscle metabolism.

We assessed the effect of knee immobilization with creatine supplementation or placebo on the skeletal muscle transcriptome and metabolome in chapter 4. Knee immobilization caused muscle mass loss and strength loss in all participants, with no differences between creatine and placebo groups. Knee immobilization appeared to induce the HDAC4-myogenin axis, which is primarily associated with denervation and motor neuron diseases. The metabolome showed changes consistent with the decreased expression of energy metabolism genes. While acyl-carnitine levels tended to decrease with knee immobilization, one branched-chain amino acid-derived acyl carnitine was increased after knee immobilization, suggesting increased amino acid oxidation.

 Vitamin D deficiency is common among older adults and has been linked to muscle weakness. Vitamin D supplementation has been proposed as a strategy to improve muscle function among older populations. In chapter 5, supplementation with vitamin D (calcifediol, 25(OH)D) is investigated as nutritional strategy to improve muscle function among frail older adults. However, we observed no effect of vitamin D on the muscle transcriptome. These findings indicate the effects of vitamin D supplementation on skeletal muscle may be either absent, weak, or limited to a small subset of muscle cells.

Transcriptomic changes due to different forms of muscle disuse are compared in chapter 6 (primarily knee immobilization and bed rest). The goal was to determine the similarities and differences among various causes of muscle atrophy in humans (primarily muscle disuse). Both knee immobilization and bed rest led to significant changes in the muscle transcriptome. However, the overlap in significantly changed genes was relatively small. Knee immobilization was characterized by ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis and induction of the HDAC4/Myogenin axis, whereas bed rest revealed increased expression of genes of the immune system and increased expression of lysosomal genes. Knee immobilization showed the highest similarity with age and frailty-related transcriptomic changes. This finding suggests that knee immobilization may be the most suitable form of disuse atrophy to assess the effectiveness of strategies to prevent age-related muscle loss in humans.

The transcriptome and metabolome are incredibly useful tools in describing the wide array of biological systems within skeletal muscle. These systems can be modulated using physical activity (or lack thereof) as well as nutrition. This thesis describes some of these processes and highlights several unexplored genes and metabolites that may be important for maintaining or even optimizing muscle function. In the future, it may be possible to optimize both exercise and nutrition for each individual using these techniques; or even better, cheaper and less invasive alternatives.

Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Kersten, Sander, Promotor
  • de Groot, Lisette, Promotor
  • Boekschoten, Mark, Co-promotor
Award date15 Dec 2017
Place of PublicationWageningen
Publisher
Print ISBNs9789463437103
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Fingerprint

Transcriptome
Immobilization
Metabolome
Knee
Muscles
Health
Skeletal Muscle
Exercise
Vitamin D
Bed Rest
Resistance Training
Carnitine
Muscle Strength
Myogenin
Frail Elderly
Branched Chain Amino Acids
Creatine
Population
Denervation
Placebos

Keywords

  • muscles
  • age
  • nutrition
  • physical activity
  • transcriptomes
  • metabolomes
  • elderly
  • creatine
  • phosphocreatine
  • vitamin d
  • atrophy

Cite this

@phdthesis{2923d4caa037425f9f0074702a01f11e,
title = "Molecular assessment of muscle health and function: The effect of age, nutrition and physical activity on the human muscle transcriptome and metabolom",
abstract = "Prolonged lifespan and decreased fertility will lead to an increased proportion of older adults in the world population (population aging). An important strategy to deal with population aging has been to promote healthy aging; not only to prevent mounting health care costs, but also to maintain independence and quality of life of older populations for as long as possible. Close to the opposite of the healthy aging is frailty. A major component of (physical) frailty is sarcopenia: age-related loss of muscle mass. Decreased muscle size and strength has been associated with a wide variety of negative health outcomes, including increased risk of hospitalization, physical disability and even death. Therefore, maintaining muscle size and strength is very important for healthy aging. Nutrition and physical activity are possible strategies to maintain or even improve muscle function with age. The effect of nutrition, age, frailty and physical activity on the function of skeletal muscle is complex. A better understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved can provide new insights in potential strategies to maintain muscle function over the life course. This thesis aims to investigate these mechanisms and processes that underlie the effects of age, frailty and physical activity by leveraging the sensitivity and comprehensiveness of transcriptomics and metabolomics. Chapter 2 and 3 describe the effects of age, frailty and resistance-type exercise training on the skeletal muscle transcriptome and metabolome. Both the transcriptome and metabolome show significant differences between frail and healthy older adults. These differences are similar to the differneces between healthy young men and healthy older adults, suggesting that frailty presents itself as a more pronounced form of aging, somewhat independent of chronological age. These age and frailty related differences in the transcriptome are partially reversed by resistance-type exercise training, in accordance with the observed improvement in muscle strength. Regression analysis revealed that the protocadherin gamma gene cluster may be important to skeletal muscle function. Protocadherin gamma is involved in axon guidance and may be upregulated due to the denervation-reinnervation cycles observed in skeletal muscle of older individuals. The metabolome suggested that resistance-type exercise training led to a decrease in branched-chain amino acid oxidation, as shown by a decrease in amino acid derived carnitines. Lastly, the blood metabolome showed little agreement with the metabolome in skeletal muscle, indicating that blood is a poor read-out of muscle metabolism. We assessed the effect of knee immobilization with creatine supplementation or placebo on the skeletal muscle transcriptome and metabolome in chapter 4. Knee immobilization caused muscle mass loss and strength loss in all participants, with no differences between creatine and placebo groups. Knee immobilization appeared to induce the HDAC4-myogenin axis, which is primarily associated with denervation and motor neuron diseases. The metabolome showed changes consistent with the decreased expression of energy metabolism genes. While acyl-carnitine levels tended to decrease with knee immobilization, one branched-chain amino acid-derived acyl carnitine was increased after knee immobilization, suggesting increased amino acid oxidation.  Vitamin D deficiency is common among older adults and has been linked to muscle weakness. Vitamin D supplementation has been proposed as a strategy to improve muscle function among older populations. In chapter 5, supplementation with vitamin D (calcifediol, 25(OH)D) is investigated as nutritional strategy to improve muscle function among frail older adults. However, we observed no effect of vitamin D on the muscle transcriptome. These findings indicate the effects of vitamin D supplementation on skeletal muscle may be either absent, weak, or limited to a small subset of muscle cells. Transcriptomic changes due to different forms of muscle disuse are compared in chapter 6 (primarily knee immobilization and bed rest). The goal was to determine the similarities and differences among various causes of muscle atrophy in humans (primarily muscle disuse). Both knee immobilization and bed rest led to significant changes in the muscle transcriptome. However, the overlap in significantly changed genes was relatively small. Knee immobilization was characterized by ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis and induction of the HDAC4/Myogenin axis, whereas bed rest revealed increased expression of genes of the immune system and increased expression of lysosomal genes. Knee immobilization showed the highest similarity with age and frailty-related transcriptomic changes. This finding suggests that knee immobilization may be the most suitable form of disuse atrophy to assess the effectiveness of strategies to prevent age-related muscle loss in humans. The transcriptome and metabolome are incredibly useful tools in describing the wide array of biological systems within skeletal muscle. These systems can be modulated using physical activity (or lack thereof) as well as nutrition. This thesis describes some of these processes and highlights several unexplored genes and metabolites that may be important for maintaining or even optimizing muscle function. In the future, it may be possible to optimize both exercise and nutrition for each individual using these techniques; or even better, cheaper and less invasive alternatives.",
keywords = "muscles, age, nutrition, physical activity, transcriptomes, metabolomes, elderly, creatine, phosphocreatine, vitamin d, atrophy, spieren, leeftijd, voeding, lichamelijke activiteit, transcriptomen, metabolomen, ouderen, creatine, fosfocreatine, vitamine d, atrofie",
author = "Hangelbroek, {Roland W.J.}",
note = "WU thesis 6830 Includes bibliographical references. - With summary in English",
year = "2017",
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TY - THES

T1 - Molecular assessment of muscle health and function

T2 - The effect of age, nutrition and physical activity on the human muscle transcriptome and metabolom

AU - Hangelbroek, Roland W.J.

N1 - WU thesis 6830 Includes bibliographical references. - With summary in English

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - Prolonged lifespan and decreased fertility will lead to an increased proportion of older adults in the world population (population aging). An important strategy to deal with population aging has been to promote healthy aging; not only to prevent mounting health care costs, but also to maintain independence and quality of life of older populations for as long as possible. Close to the opposite of the healthy aging is frailty. A major component of (physical) frailty is sarcopenia: age-related loss of muscle mass. Decreased muscle size and strength has been associated with a wide variety of negative health outcomes, including increased risk of hospitalization, physical disability and even death. Therefore, maintaining muscle size and strength is very important for healthy aging. Nutrition and physical activity are possible strategies to maintain or even improve muscle function with age. The effect of nutrition, age, frailty and physical activity on the function of skeletal muscle is complex. A better understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved can provide new insights in potential strategies to maintain muscle function over the life course. This thesis aims to investigate these mechanisms and processes that underlie the effects of age, frailty and physical activity by leveraging the sensitivity and comprehensiveness of transcriptomics and metabolomics. Chapter 2 and 3 describe the effects of age, frailty and resistance-type exercise training on the skeletal muscle transcriptome and metabolome. Both the transcriptome and metabolome show significant differences between frail and healthy older adults. These differences are similar to the differneces between healthy young men and healthy older adults, suggesting that frailty presents itself as a more pronounced form of aging, somewhat independent of chronological age. These age and frailty related differences in the transcriptome are partially reversed by resistance-type exercise training, in accordance with the observed improvement in muscle strength. Regression analysis revealed that the protocadherin gamma gene cluster may be important to skeletal muscle function. Protocadherin gamma is involved in axon guidance and may be upregulated due to the denervation-reinnervation cycles observed in skeletal muscle of older individuals. The metabolome suggested that resistance-type exercise training led to a decrease in branched-chain amino acid oxidation, as shown by a decrease in amino acid derived carnitines. Lastly, the blood metabolome showed little agreement with the metabolome in skeletal muscle, indicating that blood is a poor read-out of muscle metabolism. We assessed the effect of knee immobilization with creatine supplementation or placebo on the skeletal muscle transcriptome and metabolome in chapter 4. Knee immobilization caused muscle mass loss and strength loss in all participants, with no differences between creatine and placebo groups. Knee immobilization appeared to induce the HDAC4-myogenin axis, which is primarily associated with denervation and motor neuron diseases. The metabolome showed changes consistent with the decreased expression of energy metabolism genes. While acyl-carnitine levels tended to decrease with knee immobilization, one branched-chain amino acid-derived acyl carnitine was increased after knee immobilization, suggesting increased amino acid oxidation.  Vitamin D deficiency is common among older adults and has been linked to muscle weakness. Vitamin D supplementation has been proposed as a strategy to improve muscle function among older populations. In chapter 5, supplementation with vitamin D (calcifediol, 25(OH)D) is investigated as nutritional strategy to improve muscle function among frail older adults. However, we observed no effect of vitamin D on the muscle transcriptome. These findings indicate the effects of vitamin D supplementation on skeletal muscle may be either absent, weak, or limited to a small subset of muscle cells. Transcriptomic changes due to different forms of muscle disuse are compared in chapter 6 (primarily knee immobilization and bed rest). The goal was to determine the similarities and differences among various causes of muscle atrophy in humans (primarily muscle disuse). Both knee immobilization and bed rest led to significant changes in the muscle transcriptome. However, the overlap in significantly changed genes was relatively small. Knee immobilization was characterized by ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis and induction of the HDAC4/Myogenin axis, whereas bed rest revealed increased expression of genes of the immune system and increased expression of lysosomal genes. Knee immobilization showed the highest similarity with age and frailty-related transcriptomic changes. This finding suggests that knee immobilization may be the most suitable form of disuse atrophy to assess the effectiveness of strategies to prevent age-related muscle loss in humans. The transcriptome and metabolome are incredibly useful tools in describing the wide array of biological systems within skeletal muscle. These systems can be modulated using physical activity (or lack thereof) as well as nutrition. This thesis describes some of these processes and highlights several unexplored genes and metabolites that may be important for maintaining or even optimizing muscle function. In the future, it may be possible to optimize both exercise and nutrition for each individual using these techniques; or even better, cheaper and less invasive alternatives.

AB - Prolonged lifespan and decreased fertility will lead to an increased proportion of older adults in the world population (population aging). An important strategy to deal with population aging has been to promote healthy aging; not only to prevent mounting health care costs, but also to maintain independence and quality of life of older populations for as long as possible. Close to the opposite of the healthy aging is frailty. A major component of (physical) frailty is sarcopenia: age-related loss of muscle mass. Decreased muscle size and strength has been associated with a wide variety of negative health outcomes, including increased risk of hospitalization, physical disability and even death. Therefore, maintaining muscle size and strength is very important for healthy aging. Nutrition and physical activity are possible strategies to maintain or even improve muscle function with age. The effect of nutrition, age, frailty and physical activity on the function of skeletal muscle is complex. A better understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved can provide new insights in potential strategies to maintain muscle function over the life course. This thesis aims to investigate these mechanisms and processes that underlie the effects of age, frailty and physical activity by leveraging the sensitivity and comprehensiveness of transcriptomics and metabolomics. Chapter 2 and 3 describe the effects of age, frailty and resistance-type exercise training on the skeletal muscle transcriptome and metabolome. Both the transcriptome and metabolome show significant differences between frail and healthy older adults. These differences are similar to the differneces between healthy young men and healthy older adults, suggesting that frailty presents itself as a more pronounced form of aging, somewhat independent of chronological age. These age and frailty related differences in the transcriptome are partially reversed by resistance-type exercise training, in accordance with the observed improvement in muscle strength. Regression analysis revealed that the protocadherin gamma gene cluster may be important to skeletal muscle function. Protocadherin gamma is involved in axon guidance and may be upregulated due to the denervation-reinnervation cycles observed in skeletal muscle of older individuals. The metabolome suggested that resistance-type exercise training led to a decrease in branched-chain amino acid oxidation, as shown by a decrease in amino acid derived carnitines. Lastly, the blood metabolome showed little agreement with the metabolome in skeletal muscle, indicating that blood is a poor read-out of muscle metabolism. We assessed the effect of knee immobilization with creatine supplementation or placebo on the skeletal muscle transcriptome and metabolome in chapter 4. Knee immobilization caused muscle mass loss and strength loss in all participants, with no differences between creatine and placebo groups. Knee immobilization appeared to induce the HDAC4-myogenin axis, which is primarily associated with denervation and motor neuron diseases. The metabolome showed changes consistent with the decreased expression of energy metabolism genes. While acyl-carnitine levels tended to decrease with knee immobilization, one branched-chain amino acid-derived acyl carnitine was increased after knee immobilization, suggesting increased amino acid oxidation.  Vitamin D deficiency is common among older adults and has been linked to muscle weakness. Vitamin D supplementation has been proposed as a strategy to improve muscle function among older populations. In chapter 5, supplementation with vitamin D (calcifediol, 25(OH)D) is investigated as nutritional strategy to improve muscle function among frail older adults. However, we observed no effect of vitamin D on the muscle transcriptome. These findings indicate the effects of vitamin D supplementation on skeletal muscle may be either absent, weak, or limited to a small subset of muscle cells. Transcriptomic changes due to different forms of muscle disuse are compared in chapter 6 (primarily knee immobilization and bed rest). The goal was to determine the similarities and differences among various causes of muscle atrophy in humans (primarily muscle disuse). Both knee immobilization and bed rest led to significant changes in the muscle transcriptome. However, the overlap in significantly changed genes was relatively small. Knee immobilization was characterized by ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis and induction of the HDAC4/Myogenin axis, whereas bed rest revealed increased expression of genes of the immune system and increased expression of lysosomal genes. Knee immobilization showed the highest similarity with age and frailty-related transcriptomic changes. This finding suggests that knee immobilization may be the most suitable form of disuse atrophy to assess the effectiveness of strategies to prevent age-related muscle loss in humans. The transcriptome and metabolome are incredibly useful tools in describing the wide array of biological systems within skeletal muscle. These systems can be modulated using physical activity (or lack thereof) as well as nutrition. This thesis describes some of these processes and highlights several unexplored genes and metabolites that may be important for maintaining or even optimizing muscle function. In the future, it may be possible to optimize both exercise and nutrition for each individual using these techniques; or even better, cheaper and less invasive alternatives.

KW - muscles

KW - age

KW - nutrition

KW - physical activity

KW - transcriptomes

KW - metabolomes

KW - elderly

KW - creatine

KW - phosphocreatine

KW - vitamin d

KW - atrophy

KW - spieren

KW - leeftijd

KW - voeding

KW - lichamelijke activiteit

KW - transcriptomen

KW - metabolomen

KW - ouderen

KW - creatine

KW - fosfocreatine

KW - vitamine d

KW - atrofie

U2 - 10.18174/425481

DO - 10.18174/425481

M3 - internal PhD, WU

SN - 9789463437103

PB - Wageningen University

CY - Wageningen

ER -