Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2017 Jan 11;12(1):e0169314. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0169314. eCollection 2017.

Gene Expression Profiling in Slow-Type Calf Soleus Muscle of 30 Days Space-Flown Mice.

Author information

Center for Space Medicine Berlin, Neuromuscular Group, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
Vegetative Anatomy, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
Venetian Institute of Molecular Medicine, Padova, Italy.
Department of Medicine (DIMED), University of Padova, Padova, Italy.
Institute of Neuroscience Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Padova, Italy.
Laboratory of Functional Genomics, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
Centre for Space Medicine, Department for Physiology, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.


Microgravity exposure as well as chronic disuse are two main causes of skeletal muscle atrophy in animals and humans. The antigravity calf soleus is a reference postural muscle to investigate the mechanism of disuse-induced maladaptation and plasticity of human and rodent (rats or mice) skeletal musculature. Here, we report microgravity-induced global gene expression changes in space-flown mouse skeletal muscle and the identification of yet unknown disuse susceptible transcripts found in soleus (a mainly slow phenotype) but not in extensor digitorum longus (a mainly fast phenotype dorsiflexor as functional counterpart to soleus). Adult C57Bl/N6 male mice (n = 5) flew aboard a biosatellite for 30 days on orbit (BION-M1 mission, 2013), a sex and age-matched cohort were housed in standard vivarium cages (n = 5), or in a replicate flight habitat as ground control (n = 5). Next to disuse atrophy signs (reduced size and myofiber phenotype I to II type shift) as much as 680 differentially expressed genes were found in the space-flown soleus, and only 72 in extensor digitorum longus (only 24 genes in common) compared to ground controls. Altered expression of gene transcripts matched key biological processes (contractile machinery, calcium homeostasis, muscle development, cell metabolism, inflammatory and oxidative stress response). Some transcripts (Fzd9, Casq2, Kcnma1, Ppara, Myf6) were further validated by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). Besides previous reports on other leg muscle types we put forth for the first time a complete set of microgravity susceptible gene transcripts in soleus of mice as promising new biomarkers or targets for optimization of physical countermeasures and rehabilitation protocols to overcome disuse atrophy conditions in different clinical settings, rehabilitation and spaceflight.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center