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Hypertrophy-stimulated Myogenic Regulatory Factor MRNA Increases Are Attenuated In Fast Muscle Of Aged Quails

Dawn A. Lowe, Troy Lund, Stephen E. Alway

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Myogenic regulatory factors (MRFs) are a family of skeletal muscle-specific transcription factors that regulate the expression of several muscle genes. This study was designed to determine whether MRF transcripts were increased in hypertrophy-stimulated muscle of adult quails and whether equivalent increases occurred in muscles of older quails. Slow-tonic anterior latissimus dorsi and fast-twitch patagialis muscles of adult, middle-aged, aged, and senescent quails were stretch overloaded for 6, 24, or 72 h, with contralateral muscles serving as controls. RNase protection assays showed that MRF4 and MyoD transcript levels were increased and myogenin and Myf5 transcripts were induced in stretch-overloaded muscles. However, MRF4 and MyoD increases were significantly attenuated in patagialis muscles of older quails. RT-PCR analyses of three MRF-regulated genes showed that increases in the transcription of these genes occurred with stretch overload, but the increases were less in muscles of older quails. In summary, attenuated MRF responses in muscles from aged animals may partially explain why muscles from older animals do not hypertrophy to the same extent as muscles from younger animals.