NFκB regulates muscle development and mitochondrial function

Joseph M. Valentine, Mengyao E. Li, Steven E. Shoelson, Ning Zhang, Robert L. Reddick, Nicolas Musi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Nuclear factor (NF)κB is a transcription factor that controls immune and inflammatory signaling pathways. In skeletal muscle, NFκB has been implicated in the regulation of metabolic processes and tissue mass, yet its affects on mitochondrial function in this tissue are unclear. To investigate the role of NFκB on mitochondrial function and its relationship with muscle mass across the life span, we study a mouse model with muscle-specific NFκB suppression (muscle-specific IκBα super-repressor [MISR] mice). In wild-type mice, there was a natural decline in muscle mass with aging that was accompanied by decreased mitochondrial function and mRNA expression of electron transport chain subunits. NFκB inactivation downregulated expression of PPARGC1A, and upregulated TFEB and PPARGC1B. NFκB inactivation also decreased gastrocnemius (but not soleus) muscle mass in early life (1-6 months old). Lower oxygen consumption rates occurred in gastrocnemius and soleus muscles from young MISR mice, whereas soleus (but not gastrocnemius) muscles from old MISR mice displayed increased oxygen consumption compared to age-matched controls. We conclude that the NFκB pathway plays an important role in muscle development and growth. The extent to which NFκB suppression alters mitochondrial function is age dependent and muscle specific. Finally, mitochondrial function and muscle mass are tightly associated in both genotypes and across the life span.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)647-653
Number of pages7
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 9 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Inflammation
  • Oxygen consumption
  • ROS production
  • Skeletal muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Aging


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