Foxo1 controls the expression of proteins which carry out processes leading to skeletal muscle atrophy, making Foxo1 of therapeutic interest in conditions of muscle wasting. The transcription of Foxo1-regulated proteins is dependent on the translocation of Foxo1 to the nucleus, which can be repressed by insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) treatment. The role of Foxo1 in muscle atrophy has been explored at length, but whether Foxo1 nuclear activity affects skeletal muscle excitation-contraction (EC) coupling has not yet been examined. Here, we use cultured adult mouse skeletal muscle fibers to investigate the effects of Foxo1 overexpression on EC coupling. Fibers expressing Foxo1-GFP exhibit an inability to contract, impaired propagation of action potentials, and ablation of calcium transients in response to electrical stimulation compared to fibers expressing GFP alone. Evaluation of the T-tubule system morphology, the membranous system involved in the radial propagation of the action potential, revealed an intact T-tubule network in fibers overexpressing Foxo1-GFP. Interestingly, long-term IGF-1 treatment of Foxo1-GFP fibers, which maintains Foxo1-GFP outside the nucleus, prevented the loss of normal calcium transients, indicating that Foxo1 translocation and the atrogenes it regulates affect the expression of proteins involved in the generation and/or propagation of action potentials. A reduction in the sodium channel Nav1.4 expression in fibers overexpressing Foxo1-GFP was also observed in the absence of IGF-1. We conclude that increased nuclear activity of Foxo1 prevents the normal muscle responses to electrical stimulation, and that this indicates a novel capability of Foxo1 to disable the functional activity of skeletal muscle.
- skeletal muscle
- calcium transients
- Copyright © 2013, American Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology