TNF Receptor-Associated Factor 6 Mediates TNFα-Induced Skeletal Muscle Atrophy in Mice During Aging.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

During aging, muscle mass decreases, leading to sarcopenia, associated with low-level chronic inflammation (inflammaging), which induces sarcopenia by promoting proteolysis of muscle fibers and inhibiting their regeneration. Patients with a variety of pathologic conditions associated with sarcopenia, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), have systemically elevated TNFα serum levels, and transgenic mice with TNFα overexpression (TNF-Tg mice, a model of RA) develop sarcopenia between adolescence and adulthood before they age. However, if and how TNFα contributes to the pathogenesis of sarcopenia during the normal aging process and in RA remains largely unknown. We report that TNFα levels are increased in skeletal muscles of aged WT mice, associated with muscle atrophy and decreased numbers of satellite cells and Type IIA myofibers, a phenotype that we also observed in adult TNF-Tg mice. Aged WT mice also have increased numbers of myeloid lineage cells in their skeletal muscles, including macrophages and granulocytes. These cells have increased TNFα expression, which impairs myogenic cell differentiation. Expression levels of TNF receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6), an E3 ubiquitin ligase, which mediates signaling by some TNF receptor (TNFR) family members, are elevated in skeletal muscles of both aged WT mice and adult TNF-Tg mice. TRAF6 binds to TNFR2 in C2C12 myoblasts and mediates TNFα-induced muscle atrophy through NF-κB-induced transcription of the muscle-specific E3 ligases, Atrogen1 and Murf1, which promote myosin heavy-chain degradation. Haplo-deficiency of TRAF6 prevents muscle atrophy and the decrease in numbers of satellite cells, Type IIA myofibers, and myogenic regeneration in TRAF6+/- ;TNF-Tg mice. Our findings suggest that pharmacologic inhibition of TRAF6 signaling in skeletal muscles during aging could treat/prevent age- and RA-related sarcopenia by preventing TNFα-induced proteolysis and inhibition of muscle fiber regeneration. © 2020 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Li, J; Yi, X; Yao, Z; Chakkalakal, JV; Xing, L; Boyce, BF

Published Date

  • August 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 35 / 8

Start / End Page

  • 1535 - 1548

PubMed ID

  • 32267572

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7429284

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1523-4681

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/jbmr.4021


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States