Background Several lines of evidence indicate that the active form of vitamin D has an anabolic effect on skeletal muscle. Eldecalcitol, an analogue of the active form of vitamin D, has the potential to increase bone density and decrease fracture risk. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of eldecalcitol in C2C12 myogenic cells. Methods C2C12 cells were grown to confluency and the culture medium was replaced with low-glucose DMEM containing 2% horse serum. Eldecalcitol was added at a concentration of 1, 10 or 100 nM. Gene expression profiles of vitamin D receptor (VDR), MyoD, IGF-1, neonatal myosin heavy chain (MHC), and the fast MHC subtypes Ia, IIa, IIb and IId/x were analyzed by quantitative RT-PCR. Protein expression of MHC subtypes was evaluated by western blotting and immunostaining. Results Eldecalcitol upregulated gene expression of VDR, MyoD and IGF-1. Incubation with eldecalcitol in the absence of serum followed by the addition of serum after 1 h was associated with greater increases in the expression of these genes compared with co-incubation with eldecalcitol and serum. Gene expression of MHC subtypes IIa, IIb and IId/x was significantly increased by eldecalcitol. Protein expression of fast MHC subtypes was significantly increased by eldecalcitol at 1 and 10 nM. Conclusion Similar to the active form of vitamin D, eldecalcitol had an anabolic effect on fast MHC subtypes. Taking into account its pharmacokinetic profile, eldecalcitol is expected to be beneficial for the maintenance and improvement of muscle function in elderly individuals.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine