Aging results in a loss of muscle mass and strength. Myoblasts play an important role in maintaining muscle mass through regenerative processes, which are impaired during aging. Vitamin E potentially ameliorates age-related phenotypes. Hence, this study aimed to determine the effects of the tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF) and α-tocopherol (ATF) in protecting myoblasts from replicative senescence and promoting myogenic differentiation. Primary human myoblasts were cultured into young and senescent stages and were then treated with TRF or ATF for 24 h, followed by an analysis of cell proliferation, senescence biomarkers, cellular morphology and differentiation. Our data showed that replicative senescence impaired the normal regenerative processes of myoblasts, resulting in changes in cellular morphology, cell proliferation, senescence-associated β-galactosidase (SA-β-gal) expression, myogenic differentiation and myogenic regulatory factors (MRFs) expression. Treatment with both TRF and ATF was beneficial to senescent myoblasts in reclaiming the morphology of young cells, improved cell viability and decreased SA-β-gal expression. However, only TRF treatment increased BrdU incorporation in senescent myoblasts, as well as promoted myogenic differentiation through the modulation of MRFs at the mRNA and protein levels. MYOD1 and MYOG gene expression and myogenin protein expression were modulated in the early phases of myogenic differentiation. In conclusion, the tocotrienol-rich fraction is superior to α-tocopherol in ameliorating replicative senescence-related aberration and promoting differentiation via modulation of MRFs expression, indicating vitamin E potential in modulating replicative senescence of myoblasts.
Teleosts are unique among vertebrates due to their indeterminate muscle growth, i.e., continued production of neonatal muscle fibers until death. However, the molecular mechanism(s) underlying this property is unknown. Here, we focused on the torafugu (Takifugu rubripes) myosin heavy chain gene, MYHM2528-1, which is specifically expressed in neonatal muscle fibers produced by indeterminate muscle growth. We examined the flanking region of MYHM2528-1 through an in vivo reporter assay using zebrafish (Danio rerio) and identified a 2100 bp 5'-flanking sequence that contained sufficient promoter activity to allow specific gene expression. The effects of enhanced promoter activity were observed at the outer region of the fast muscle and the dorsal edge of slow muscle in zebrafish larvae. At the juvenile stage, the promoter was specifically activated in small diameter muscle fibers scattered throughout fast muscle and in slow muscle near the septum separating slow and fast muscles. This spatio-temporal promoter activity overlapped with known myogenic zones involved in teleost indeterminate muscle growth. A deletion mutant analysis revealed that the -2100 to -600 bp 5'flanking sequence of MYHM2528-1 is essential for promoter activity. This region contains putative binding sites for several representative myogenesis-related transcription factors and nuclear factor of activated T-cell (NFAT), a transcription activator involved in regeneration of mammalian adult skeletal muscle. A significant reduction in the promoter activity of the MYHM2528-1 deletion constructs was observed in accordance with a reduction in the number of these binding sites, suggesting the involvement of specific transcription factors in indeterminate muscle growth.