We studied the influence of sepsis on muscle protein synthesis and degradation in vivo and in muscles, incubated flaccid or at resting length. Sepsis was induced in rats by cecal ligation and puncture (CLP). Control rats were sham-operated. A flooding dose of 14C-phenylalanine was used to determine muscle protein synthesis rate in vivo, and protein breakdown was calculated from the difference between protein synthesis and growth rates. Protein synthesis rate in vitro was assessed by determining incorporation of 14C-phenylalanine into protein in incubated extensor digitorum longus (EDL) and soleus (SOL) muscles. Total and myofibrillar protein breakdown rates were determined from release into incubation medium of tyrosine and 3-methylhistidine (3-MH), respectively. Muscle protein synthesis rate in vivo was reduced by 35%, similar to the reduction observed in muscles incubated flaccid or at resting length. The calculated protein breakdown rate in vivo was increased by 31% in septic rats. In incubated muscles, the increase in total protein breakdown (ie, tyrosine release) during sepsis was almost identical in muscles incubated flaccid or at resting length, ie, 83% to 88% in EDL and 47% to 49% in SOL. Myofibrillar protein degradation in vitro (ie, 3-MH release) was increased approximately 10-fold in EDL muscles incubated flaccid or at resting length, but was not significantly affected by sepsis in SOL. Results suggest that sepsis-induced changes in protein synthesis observed in muscles incubated either flaccid or at resting length reflect changes in vivo. Changes in protein breakdown were qualitatively similar in vivo and in vitro, but results in incubated muscles may overestimate the increase in muscle proteolysis caused by sepsis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism