Objectives To characterise the sketetal muscle metabolic phenotype during early critical illness.
Methods Vastus lateralis muscle biopsies and serum samples (days 1 and 7) were obtained from 63 intensive care patients (59% male, 54.7±18.0 years, Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II score 23.5±6.5).
Measurements and main results From day 1 to 7, there was a reduction in mitochondrial beta-oxidation enzyme concentrations, mitochondrial biogenesis markers (PGC1α messenger mRNA expression (−27.4CN (95% CI −123.9 to 14.3); n=23; p=0.025) and mitochondrial DNA copy number (−1859CN (IQR −5557–1325); n=35; p=0.032). Intramuscular ATP content was reduced compared tocompared with controls on day 1 (17.7mmol/kg /dry weight (dw) (95% CI 15.3 to 20.0) vs. 21.7 mmol/kg /dw (95% CI 20.4 to 22.9); p<0.001) and decreased over 7 days (−4.8 mmol/kg dw (IQR −8.0–1.2); n=33; p=0.001). In addition, the ratio of phosphorylated:total AMP-K (the bioenergetic sensor) increased (0.52 (IQR −0.09–2.6); n=31; p<0.001). There was an increase in intramuscular phosphocholine (847.2AU (IQR 232.5–1672); n=15; p=0.022), intramuscular tumour necrosis factor receptor 1 (0.66 µg (IQR −0.44–3.33); n=29; p=0.041) and IL-10 (13.6 ng (IQR 3.4–39.0); n=29; p=0.004). Serum adiponectin (10.3 µg (95% CI 6.8 to 13.7); p<0.001) and ghrelin (16.0 ng/mL (IQR −7–100); p=0.028) increased. Network analysis revealed a close and direct relationship between bioenergetic impairment and reduction in muscle mass and between intramuscular inflammation and impaired anabolic signaling. ATP content and muscle mass were unrelated to lipids delivered.
Conclusions Decreased mitochondrial biogenesis and dysregulated lipid oxidation contribute to compromised skeletal muscle bioenergetic status. In addition, intramuscular inflammation was associated with impaired anabolic recovery with lipid delivery observed as bioenergetically inert. Future clinical work will focus on these key areas to ameliorate acute skeletal muscle wasting.
Trial registration number NCT01106300.
- respiratory muscles
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SDH, NH and HEM are joint senior authors.
Contributors Concept and design: ZAP, RA, MMM, CV, PJA, KS, LME, SDH, NH, HEM. Data collection: ZAP, MMM, SS, YP, CV, SM, LC, MS, RLB, MS. Analysis: ZAP, RA, MMM,SS, YP, DB, DC, CV, SM, LC, MS, RLB, MG-R, EH, MS, PG, LME, SDH, NH, HEM. Manuscript preparation: ZAP, RA, MMM, SS, YP, DB, DC, CV, SM, LC, MS, RLB, MG-R, EH, MS, PJA, KS, PG, LME, SDH, NH, HEM.
Funding ZAP was funded by the National Institute of Health Research (UK). Additional funding has been received from the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine, Guy’s & St Thomas' and King’s College London NIHR Comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) and the Whittington Hospital NHS Trust. SDH received support from the Research Councils UK. NH received funding from the NIHR Clinical Research Facility and BRC at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT) and King’s College London. HEM was funded by University College London and UCLH BRC. The Clinical Phenotyping Centre is supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre based at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Imperial College London. MJWM is grateful to the Wellcome Trust for support in the form of a Postdoctoral Training Fellowship for part of this work. YP is grateful to Merz Pharmaceuticals for support in the form of a training fellowship award.
Competing interests ZAP has received consultancy fees from Lyric Pharmaceuticals, and attended Specialist Advisory Boards for GlaxoSmithKline and Fresenius Kabi. Other authors have no competing interest to declare.
Ethics approval Ethical approval was obtained from University College London Ethics Committee A.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Correction notice This article has been corrected since it was published. The footnote indicating joint senior authorship for SDH, NH and HEM was omitted.
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