Abstract

Obesity is a major health risk that can lead to numerous complications such as heart disease and type II diabetes. In order to find a way to counter the obesity pandemic and promote weight loss, thermogenic mechanisms were examined as a method to burn caloric energy as heat in skeletal muscle, a novel approach. In the brain, both the melanocortin system and the ventromedial hypothalamus play important roles in energy balance and thermogenesis. The activation of melanocortin receptors in this brain region induced heat dissipation in skeletal muscle. Within skeletal myocytes, sarcolipin modulates sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase (SERCA), uncoupling energy use from calcium cycling. Here, we investigated the expression of sarcolipin to determine its potential as a modulator of centrally induced thermogenesis within skeletal muscle. Quantitative PCR was used to compare sarcolipin expression in gastrocnemius muscle from rats that had been given brain injections of melanotan II, a melanocortin receptor agonist, to the sarcolipin expression in rat muscle that received vehicle control injections. There was significantly higher muscle sarcolipin mRNA expression in the rats that had received brain injections of melanotan II than those that did not. This implicates muscle sarcolipin as a driver of melanocortin-induced thermogenesis. Activating this thermogenic mechanism in skeletal muscle has exciting potential to work as an effective way to burn calories and help combat obesity.

Modified Abstract

Obesity is a major health risk that can lead to numerous complications like heart disease and type II diabetes. In order to promote weight loss, thermogenic mechanisms were examined to burn caloric energy as heat in skeletal muscle, a novel approach. We investigated the expression of the muscle protein, sarcolipin, to determine its potential as a modulator of centrally induced thermogenesis within skeletal muscle. Quantitative PCR was used to compare gastrocnemius muscle sarcolipin expression between control rats and rats with centrally induced thermogenesis (using melanotan II). There was significantly higher muscle sarcolipin mRNA expression in rats that received melanotan II, implicating muscle sarcolipin as a driver of brain-melanocortin-induced thermogenesis. Activating this thermogenic mechanism in skeletal muscle may be effective in combating obesity.

Research Category

Biology/Ecology

Primary Author's Major

Biology

Mentor #1 Information

Lydia A Heemstra

Mentor #2 Information

Chaitanya K Gavini

Mentor #3 Information

Dr. Colleen M Novak

Presentation Format

Poster

Start Date

21-3-2017 12:00 AM

Group Biosketch.docx (113 kB)
IMG_9060.JPG (1722 kB)
Left to right: Hailee, Amber, Hannah

Research Area

Biology | Molecular Biology | Musculoskeletal System | Neuroscience and Neurobiology

Share

COinS
 
Mar 21st, 12:00 AM

Brain-induced muscle thermogenesis is accompanied by increased sarcolipin expression in skeletal muscle

Obesity is a major health risk that can lead to numerous complications such as heart disease and type II diabetes. In order to find a way to counter the obesity pandemic and promote weight loss, thermogenic mechanisms were examined as a method to burn caloric energy as heat in skeletal muscle, a novel approach. In the brain, both the melanocortin system and the ventromedial hypothalamus play important roles in energy balance and thermogenesis. The activation of melanocortin receptors in this brain region induced heat dissipation in skeletal muscle. Within skeletal myocytes, sarcolipin modulates sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase (SERCA), uncoupling energy use from calcium cycling. Here, we investigated the expression of sarcolipin to determine its potential as a modulator of centrally induced thermogenesis within skeletal muscle. Quantitative PCR was used to compare sarcolipin expression in gastrocnemius muscle from rats that had been given brain injections of melanotan II, a melanocortin receptor agonist, to the sarcolipin expression in rat muscle that received vehicle control injections. There was significantly higher muscle sarcolipin mRNA expression in the rats that had received brain injections of melanotan II than those that did not. This implicates muscle sarcolipin as a driver of melanocortin-induced thermogenesis. Activating this thermogenic mechanism in skeletal muscle has exciting potential to work as an effective way to burn calories and help combat obesity.