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Exp Cell Res. 2011 Feb 1;317(3):356-66. doi: 10.1016/j.yexcr.2010.11.001. Epub 2010 Nov 9.

IGF-I and vitamin C promote myogenic differentiation of mouse and human skeletal muscle cells at low temperatures.

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Department of Life Sciences, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo, 309A Building 15, 3-8-1 Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-8902, Japan.


In a previous study investigating the effects of low temperature on skeletal muscle differentiation, we demonstrated that C2C12 mouse myoblasts cultured at 30°C do not express myogenin, a myogenic regulatory factor (MRF), or fuse into multinucleated myotubes. At this low temperature, the myoblasts continuously express Id3, a negative regulator of MRFs, and do not upregulate muscle-specific microRNAs. In this study, we examined if insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) and a stable form of vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid phosphate) could alleviate the low temperature-induced inhibition of myogenic differentiation in C2C12 cells. Although the addition of either IGF-I or vitamin C alone could promote myogenin expression in C2C12 cells at 30°C, elongated multinucleated myotubes were not formed unless both IGF-I and vitamin C were continuously administered. In human skeletal muscle cells, low temperature-induced blockage of myogenic differentiation was also ameliorated by exogenous IGF-I and vitamin C. In addition, we demonstrated that satellite cells of IGF-I overexpressing transgenic mice in single-fiber culture expressed myogenin at a higher level than those of wild-type mice at 30°C. This study suggests that body temperature plays an important role in myogenic differentiation of endotherms, but the sensitivity to low temperature could be buffered by certain factors in vivo, such as IGF-I and vitamin C.

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