Different mechanisms of increased proteolysis in atrophy induced by denervation or unweighting of rat soleus muscle

Marc E. Tischler, Sara Rosenberg, Soisungwan Satarug, Erik J. Henriksen, Christopher R. Kirby, Margaret Tome, Peter Chase

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Mechanisms of accelerated proteolysis were compared in denervated and unweighted (by tail-cast suspension) soleus muscles. In vitro and in vivo proteolysis were more rapid and lysosomal latency was lower in denervated than in unweighted muscle. In vitro, lysosomotropic agents (eg, chloroquine, methylamine) did not lessen the increase in proteolysis caused by unweighting, but abolished the difference in proteolysis between denervated and unweighted muscle. Leucine methylester, an indicator of lysosome fragility, lowered latency more in denervated than in unweighted muscle. 3-Methyladenine, which inhibits phagosome formation, increased latency similarly in all muscles tested. Mersalyl, a thiol protease inhibitor, and 8-(diethylamino)octyl-3,4,5-trimethoxybenzoate hydrochloride (TMB-8), which antagonizes sarcoplasmic reticulum release of Ca2+, reduced accelerated proteolysis caused by unweighting without diminishing the faster proteolysis due to denervation. Calcium ionophore (A23187) increased proteolysis more so in unweighted than control muscles whether or not Ca2+ was present. Different mechanisms of accelerated proteolysis were studied further by treating muscles in vivo for 24 hours with chloroquine or mersalyl. Chloroquine diminished atrophy of the denervated but not the unweighted muscle, whereas mersalyl prevented atrophy of the unweighted but not of the denervated muscle, both by inhibiting in vivo proteolysis. These results suggest that (1) atrophy of denervated, but not of unweighted, soleus muscle involves increased lysosomal proteolysis, possibly caused by greater permeability of the lysosome, and (2) cytosolic proteolysis is important in unweighting atrophy, involving some role of Ca2+-dependent proteolysis and/or thiol proteases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)756-763
Number of pages8
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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