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      Sarcopenia in cirrhosis: from pathogenesis to interventions

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          Sarcopenia (severe muscle depletion) is a prevalent muscle abnormality in patients with cirrhosis that confers poor prognosis both pre- and post-liver transplantation. The pathogenesis of sarcopenia is multifactorial and results from an imbalance between protein synthesis and breakdown. Nutritional, metabolic, and biochemical abnormalities seen in chronic liver disease alter whole body protein homeostasis. Hyperammonemia, increased autophagy, proteasomal activity, lower protein synthesis, and impaired mitochondrial function play an important role in muscle depletion in cirrhosis. Factors including cellular energy status, availability of metabolic substrates (e.g., branched-chain amino acids), alterations in the endocrine system (insulin resistance, circulating levels of insulin, insulin-like growth factor-1, corticosteroids, and testosterone), cytokines, myostatin, and exercise are involved in regulating muscle mass. A favored atrophy of type II fast-twitch glycolytic fibers seems to occur in patients with cirrhosis and sarcopenia. Identification of muscle biological abnormalities and underlying mechanisms is required to plan clinical trials to reverse sarcopenia through modulation of specific mechanisms. Accordingly, a combination of nutritional, physical, and pharmacological interventions might be necessary to reverse sarcopenia in cirrhosis. Moderate exercise should be combined with appropriate energy and protein intake, in accordance with clinical guidelines. Interventions with branched chain amino acids, testosterone, carnitine, or ammonia-lowering therapies should be considered individually. Various factors such as dose, type, duration of supplementations, etiology of cirrhosis, amount of dietary protein intake, and compliance with supplementation and exercise should be the focus of future large randomized controlled trials investigating both prevention and treatment of sarcopenia in this patient population.

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          Most cited references 84

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          Interleukin‐6 myokine signaling in skeletal muscle: a double‐edged sword?

          Interleukin (IL)‐6 is a cytokine with pleiotropic functions in different tissues and organs. Skeletal muscle produces and releases significant levels of IL‐6 after prolonged exercise and is therefore considered as a myokine. Muscle is also an important target of the cytokine. IL‐6 signaling has been associated with stimulation of hypertrophic muscle growth and myogenesis through regulation of the proliferative capacity of muscle stem cells. Additional beneficial effects of IL‐6 include regulation of energy metabolism, which is related to the capacity of actively contracting muscle to synthesize and release IL‐6. Paradoxically, deleterious actions for IL‐6 have also been proposed, such as promotion of atrophy and muscle wasting. We review the current evidence for these apparently contradictory effects, the mechanisms involved and discuss their possible biological implications.
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            LKB1 and AMP-activated protein kinase control of mTOR signalling and growth.

             R. Shaw (2009)
            The AMP-activated serine/threonine protein kinase (AMPK) is a sensor of cellular energy status found in all eukaryotes that is activated under conditions of low intracellular ATP following stresses such as nutrient deprivation or hypoxia. In the past 5 years, work from a large number of laboratories has revealed that one of the major downstream signalling pathways regulated by AMPK is the mammalian target-of-rapamycin [mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway]. Interestingly, like AMPK, the mTOR serine/threonine kinase plays key roles not only in growth control and cell proliferation but also in metabolism. Recent work has revealed that across eukaryotes mTOR orthologues are found in two biochemically distinct complexes and only one of those complexes (mTORC1 in mammals) is acutely sensitive to rapamycin and regulated by nutrients and AMPK. Many details of the molecular mechanism by which AMPK inhibits mTORC1 signalling have also been decoded in the past 5 years. AMPK directly phosphorylates at least two proteins to induce rapid suppression of mTORC1 activity, the TSC2 tumour suppressor and the critical mTORC1 binding subunit raptor. Here we explore the molecular connections between AMPK and mTOR signalling pathways and examine the physiological processes in which AMPK regulation of mTOR is critical for growth or metabolic control. The functional conservation of AMPK and TOR in all eukaryotes, and the sequence conservation around the AMPK phosphorylation sites in raptor across all eukaryotes examined suggest that this represents a fundamental cell growth module connecting nutrient status to the cell growth machinery. These findings have broad implications for the control of cell growth by nutrients in a number of cellular and organismal contexts.
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              Signaling pathways controlling skeletal muscle mass

              The molecular mechanisms underlying skeletal muscle maintenance involve interplay between multiple signaling pathways. Under normal physiological conditions, a network of interconnected signals serves to control and coordinate hypertrophic and atrophic messages, culminating in a delicate balance between muscle protein synthesis and proteolysis. Loss of skeletal muscle mass, termed “atrophy”, is a diagnostic feature of cachexia seen in settings of cancer, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, kidney disease, and burns. Cachexia increases the likelihood of death from these already serious diseases. Recent studies have further defined the pathways leading to gain and loss of skeletal muscle as well as the signaling events that induce differentiation and post-injury regeneration, which are also essential for the maintenance of skeletal muscle mass. In this review, we summarize and discuss the relevant recent literature demonstrating these previously undiscovered mediators governing anabolism and catabolism of skeletal muscle.

                Author and article information

                J Gastroenterol
                J. Gastroenterol
                Journal of Gastroenterology
                Springer Japan (Tokyo )
                7 August 2019
                7 August 2019
                : 54
                : 10
                : 845-859
                [1 ]GRID grid.17089.37, Division of Gastroenterology and Liver Unit, Zeidler Ledcor Centre, , University of Alberta, ; 8540 112 Street NW, Edmonton, AB T6G 2X8 Canada
                [2 ]GRID grid.17089.37, Division of Human Nutrition, , University of Alberta, ; Edmonton, AB Canada
                © The Author(s) 2019

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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                © Japanese Society of Gastroenterology 2019

                Gastroenterology & Hepatology

                muscle loss, pathways, mechanisms, interventions


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