Reactive oxygen species enhance mitochondrial function, insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake in skeletal muscle of senescence accelerated prone mice SAMP8

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Whereas reactive oxygen species (ROS) can have opposite impacts on insulin signaling, they have mainly been associated with mitochondrial dysfunction in skeletal muscle. We analyzed the relationship between these three features in skeletal muscle of senescence accelerated mice (SAM) prone (P8), which are characterized by enhanced oxidative stress compared to SAM resistant (R1). Oxidative stress, ROS production, antioxidant system, mitochondrial content and functioning, as well as in vitro and in vivo insulin signaling were investigated in gastrocnemius and quadriceps muscles. In SAMP8 compared to SAMR1, muscle content in carbonylated proteins was two-fold (p < 0.01) and ROS production by xanthine oxidase 70% (p < 0.05) higher. Furthermore, insulin-induced Akt phosphorylation measured in vivo and ex vivo as well as muscle glucose uptake measured ex vivo were significantly higher (p < 0.05). Mitochondrial respiration evidenced uncoupling and higher respiration rates with substrates of complexes II and IV, in agreement with higher maximal activity of complexes II and IV (+ 18% and 62%, respectively, p < 0.05). By contrast, maximal activity of complex I was 22% lower (p < 0.05). All strain differences were corrected after 6 months of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) treatment, thus supporting the involvement of high ROS production in these differences. In conclusion in muscle of SAMP8 compared to SAMR1, high ROS production is associated to higher insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake but to lower mitochondrial complex I activity. These conflicting adaptations, with regards to the resulting imbalance between NADH production and use, were associated with intrinsic adjustments in the mitochondrial respiration chain (mitochondrial uncoupling, enhanced complexes II and IV activity). We propose that these bioenergetics adaptations may help at preserving muscle metabolic flexibility of SAMP8.

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