Skeletal muscle mitochondrial fragmentation and impaired bioenergetics from nutrient overload are prevented by carbon monoxide.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Nutrient excess increases skeletal muscle oxidant production and mitochondrial fragmentation that may result in impaired mitochondrial function, a hallmark of skeletal muscle insulin resistance. This led us to explore whether an endogenous gas molecule, carbon monoxide (CO), which is thought to prevent weight gain and metabolic dysfunction in mice consuming high-fat diets, alters mitochondrial morphology and respiration in C2C12 myoblasts exposed to high glucose (15.6 mM) and high fat (250 µM BSA-palmitate) (HGHF). Also, skeletal muscle mitochondrial morphology, distribution, respiration, and energy expenditure were examined in obese resistant (OR) and obese prone (OP) rats that consumed a high-fat and high-sucrose diet for 10 wk with or without intermittent low-dose inhaled CO and/or exercise training. In cells exposed to HGHF, superoxide production, mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm), mitochondrial fission regulatory protein dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) and mitochondrial fragmentation increased, while mitochondrial respiratory capacity was reduced. CO decreased HGHF-induced superoxide production, Drp1 protein levels and mitochondrial fragmentation, maintained ΔΨm, and increased mitochondrial respiratory capacity. In comparison with lean OR rats, OP rats had smaller skeletal muscle mitochondria that contained disorganized cristae, a normal mitochondrial distribution, but reduced citrate synthase protein expression, normal respiratory responses, and a lower energy expenditure. The combination of inhaled CO and exercise produced the greatest effect on mitochondrial morphology, increasing ADP-stimulated respiration in the presence of pyruvate, and preventing a decline in resting energy expenditure. These data support a therapeutic role for CO and exercise in preserving mitochondrial morphology and respiration during metabolic overload.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Gasier, HG; Dohl, J; Suliman, HB; Piantadosi, CA; Yu, T

Published Date

  • October 1, 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 319 / 4

Start / End Page

  • C746 - C756

PubMed ID

  • 32845721

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1522-1563

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1152/ajpcell.00016.2020


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States