Effects of In Vitro Muscle Contraction on Thermogenic Protein Levels in Co-Cultured Adipocytes

Nintou E, Karligiotou E, Vliora M, Fatouros IG, Jamurtas AZ, Sakellaridis N, Dimas K, Flouris AD. Effects of In Vitro Muscle Contraction on Thermogenic Protein Levels in Co-Cultured Adipocytes. Life (Basel). 2021 Nov 12;11(11):1227. doi: 10.3390/life11111227.

Abstract: The crosstalk between the exercising muscle and the adipose tissue, mediated by myokines and metabolites, derived from both tissues during exercise has created a controversy between animal and human studies with respect to the impact of exercise on the browning process. The aim of this study was to investigate whether co-culturing of C2C12 myotubes and 3T3-L1 adipocytes under the stimuli of electrical pulse stimulation (EPS) mimicking muscle contraction can impact the expression of UCP1, PGC-1a, and IL-6 in adipocytes, therefore providing evidence on the direct crosstalk between adipocytes and stimulated muscle cells. In the co-cultured C2C12 cells, EPS increased the expression of PGC-1a (p = 0.129; d = 0.73) and IL-6 (p = 0.09; d = 1.13) protein levels. When EPS was applied, we found that co-culturing led to increases in UCP1 (p = 0.044; d = 1.29) and IL-6 (p = 0.097; d = 1.13) protein expression in the 3T3-L1 adipocytes. The expression of PGC-1a increased by EPS but was not significantly elevated after co-culturing (p = 0.448; d = 0.08). In vitro co-culturing of C2C12 myotubes and 3T3-L1 adipocytes under the stimuli of EPS leads to increased expression of thermogenic proteins. These findings indicate changes in the expression pattern of proteins related to browning of adipose tissue, supporting the use of this in vitro model to study the crosstalk between adipocytes and contracting muscle.
Full Text: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34833103/