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Senescent adipocytes as potential effectors of muscle cells dysfunction: An in vitro model.

  • Zoico, Elena1
  • Saatchi, Tanaz2
  • Nori, Nicole1
  • Mazzali, Gloria1
  • Rizzatti, Vanni3
  • Pizzi, Eleonora3
  • Fantin, Francesco1
  • Giani, Anna1
  • Urbani, Silvia1
  • Zamboni, Mauro3
  • 1 Department of Medicine, Geriatric Section, University of Verona, Verona, Italy. , (Italy)
  • 2 Department of Medicine, Geriatric Section, University of Verona, Verona, Italy. Electronic address: [email protected]. , (Italy)
  • 3 Department of Surgery, Dentistry, Pediatrics and Gynecology, University of Verona, Verona, Italy. , (Italy)
Published Article
Experimental gerontology
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2023
DOI: 10.1016/j.exger.2023.112233
PMID: 37321332


Recently, there has been a growing body of evidence showing a negative effect of the white adipose tissue (WAT) dysfunction on the skeletal muscle function and quality. However, little is known about the effects of senescent adipocytes on muscle cells. Therefore, to explore potential mechanisms involved in age-related loss of muscle mass and function, we performed an in vitro experiment using conditioned medium obtained from cultures of mature and aged 3 T3-L1 adipocytes, as well as from cultures of dysfunctional adipocytes exposed to oxidative stress or high insulin doses, to treat C2C12 myocytes. The results from morphological measures indicated a significant decrease in diameter and fusion index of myotubes after treatment with medium of aged or stressed adipocytes. Aged and stressed adipocytes presented different morphological characteristics as well as a different gene expression profile of proinflammatory cytokines and ROS production. In myocytes treated with different adipocytes' conditioned media, we demonstrated a significant reduction of gene expression of myogenic differentiation markers as well as a significant increase of genes involved in atrophy. Finally, a significant reduction in protein synthesis as well as a significant increase of myostatin was found in muscle cells treated with medium of aged or stressed adipocytes compared to controls. In conclusion, these preliminary results suggest that aged adipocytes could influence negatively trophism, function and regenerative capacity of myocytes by a paracrine network of signaling. Copyright © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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