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1-deoxysphingolipids, early predictors of type 2 diabetes, compromise the functionality of skeletal myoblasts

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 04:55 authored by Duyen Tran, Stephen MyersStephen Myers, Courtney McGowan, Darren HenstridgeDarren Henstridge, Rajaraman Eri, Sabrina SondaSabrina Sonda, Vanni CarusoVanni Caruso

Metabolic dysfunction, dysregulated differentiation, and atrophy of skeletal muscle occur as part of a cluster of abnormalities associated with the development of Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Recent interest has turned to the attention of the role of 1-deoxysphingolipids (1-DSL), atypical class of sphingolipids which are found significantly elevated in patients diagnosed with T2DM but also in the asymptomatic population who later develop T2DM. In vitro studies demonstrated that 1-DSL have cytotoxic properties and compromise the secretion of insulin from pancreatic beta cells. However, the role of 1-DSL on the functionality of skeletal muscle cells in the pathophysiology of T2DM still remains unclear. This study aimed to investigate whether 1-DSL are cytotoxic and disrupt the cellular processes of skeletal muscle precursors (myoblasts) and differentiated cells (myotubes) by performing a battery of in vitro assays including cell viability adenosine triphosphate assay, migration assay, myoblast fusion assay, glucose uptake assay, and immunocytochemistry. Our results demonstrated that 1-DSL significantly reduced the viability of myoblasts in a concentration and time-dependent manner, and induced apoptosis as well as cellular necrosis. Importantly, myoblasts were more sensitive to the cytotoxic effects induced by 1-DSL rather than by saturated fatty acids, such as palmitate, which are critical mediators of skeletal muscle dysfunction in T2DM. Additionally, 1-DSL significantly reduced the migration ability of myoblasts and the differentiation process of myoblasts into myotubes. 1-DSL also triggered autophagy in myoblasts and significantly reduced insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in myotubes. These findings demonstrate that 1-DSL directly compromise the functionality of skeletal muscle cells and suggest that increased levels of 1-DSL observed during the development of T2DM are likely to contribute to the pathophysiology of muscle dysfunction detected in this disease.


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Frontiers in Endocrinology



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School of Pharmacy and Pharmacology


Frontiers Research Foundation

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Copyright © 2021 Tran,Myers,McGowan, Henstridge, Eri, Sonda and Caruso. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License ( The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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Diagnosis of human diseases and conditions; Prevention of human diseases and conditions; Treatment of human diseases and conditions