Novel in vitro platform to investigate myotube atrophy

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Oelkrug, Christopher ; Horn, Katharina ; Makert, Gustavo R. ; Schubert, Andreas (2015)
  • Subject: atrophy | BCAA | C2C12 | cachexia | Curcumin | ECE | electrical current exclusion

The electrical current exclusion (ECE) principle provides an alternative to common methods of cell diameter measurement and especially in atrophy and cancer associated cachexia research. C2C12 myoblasts were differentiated into myotubes and treated with 100 μM dexamethasone to induce atrophy in vitro. Subsequently, they were incubated for 24 h with media containing different concentrations of curcumin and/or branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) in order to counteract atrophy. After treatment with curcumin, an increase in cell diameter was detectable; the highest increase with 13.9±0.4% was seen with 10 μM curcumin. The combination of curcumin and BCAAs showed an increase of 13.4±1.2 %. Cell diameter measurement via the ECE showed that curcumin, and curcumin in combination with BCAAs, were able to restore atrophic C2C12 myotubes. Therefore, the application of ECE in muscle atrophy and also cancer-associated cachexia research allows rapid screening of novel compounds in order to test their efficacy in vitro.
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