Decreased expression of myogenic transcription factors and myosin heavy chains in Caenorhabditis elegans muscles developed during spaceflight

Akira Higashibata, Nathaniel J. Szewczyk, Catharine A. Conley, Mari Imamizo-Sato, Atsushi Higashitani, Noriaki Ishioka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The molecular mechanisms underlying muscle atrophy during spaceflight are not well understood. We have analyzed the effects of a 10-day spaceflight on Caenorhabditis elegans muscle development. DNA microarray, real-time quantitative PCR, and quantitative western blot analyses revealed that the amount of MHC in both body-wall and pharyngeal muscle decrease in response to spaceflight. Decreased transcription of the body-wall myogenic transcription factor HLH-1 (CeMyoD) and of the three pharyngeal myogenic transcription factors, PEB-1, CEH-22 and PHA-4 were also observed. Upon return to Earth animals displayed reduced rates of movement, indicating a functional defect. These results demonstrate that C. elegans muscle development is altered in response to spaceflight. This altered development occurs at the level of gene transcription and was observed in the presence of innervation, not simply in isolated cells. This important finding coupled with past observations of decreased levels of the same myogenic transcription factions in vertebrates after spaceflight raises the possibility that altered muscle development is a contributing factor to spaceflight-induced muscle atrophy in vertebrates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3209-3218
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Volume209
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Aug

Keywords

  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Development
  • Muscle remodeling
  • Myosin heavy chain
  • Spaceflight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Insect Science

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