Regulatory role of PGC-1 alpha/PPAR signaling in skeletal muscle metabolic recruitment during cold acclimation
Buzadžić, Biljana J.
Korac, Aleksandra B
Markelić, Milica B
Velicković, Ksenija D
Korać, Bato M.
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This study examined the molecular basis of energy-related regulatory mechanisms underlying metabolic recruitment of skeletal muscle during cold acclimation and possible involvement of the L-arginine/nitric oxide-producing pathway. Rats exposed to cold (4 +/- 1 degrees C) for periods of 1, 3, 7, 12, 21 and 45 days were divided into three groups: untreated, L-arginine treated and N-omega-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) treated. Compared with controls (22 +/- 1 degrees C), there was an initial increase in the protein level of 5'-AMP-activated protein kinase alpha (day 1), followed by an increase in peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator-1 alpha (PGC-1 alpha) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs): PPAR alpha and PPAR gamma from day 1 and PPAR delta from day 7 of cold acclimation. Activation of the PGC-1 alpha/PPAR transcription program was accompanied by increased protein expression of the key metabolic enzymes in beta-oxidation, the tricarboxylic acid cycle and oxidative phosphorylation, with the exceptions in complex I (no changes) and ATP synthase (decreased at day 1). Cold did not affect hexokinase and GAPDH protein levels, but increased lactate dehydrogenase activity compared with controls (1-45 days). L-arginine sustained, accelerated and/or intensified cold-induced molecular remodeling throughout cold acclimation. L-NAME exerted phase-dependent effects: similar to L-arginine in early cold acclimation and opposite after prolonged cold exposure (from day 21). It seems that upregulation of the PGC-1 alpha/PPAR transcription program early during cold acclimation triggers the molecular recruitment of skeletal muscle underlying the shift to more oxidative metabolism during prolonged cold acclimation. Our results suggest that nitric oxide has a role in maintaining the skeletal muscle oxidative phenotype in late cold acclimation but question its role early in cold acclimation.