Carnosine, oxidative and carbonyl stress, antioxidants, and muscle fiber characteristics of quadriceps muscle of patients with COPD

J. De Brandt, C. Burtin*, P. Pomies, F. Vandenabeele, K. Verboven, J. Aumann, L. Blancquaert, I. Everaert, L. Van Ryckeghem, J. Cops, M. Hayot, M.A. Spruit, W. Derave

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Oxidative/carbonyl stress is elevated in lower-limb muscles of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Carnosine is a skeletal muscle antioxidant particularly present in fast-twitch fibers. The aims of the present study were to compare muscle carnosine, oxidative/carbonyl stress, antioxidants, and fiber characteristics between patients with COPD and healthy controls (HCs) and between patients after stratification for airflow limitation (mild/moderate vs. severe/very severe), as well as to investigate correlates of carnosine in patients with COPD. A vastus lateralis muscle biopsy was obtained from 40 patients with stable COPD and 20 age- and sex-matched HCs. Carnosine, oxidative/carbonyl stress, antioxidants, fiber characteristics, quadriceps strength and endurance (QE), V(O2)peak (incremental cycle test), and physical activity (PA) were determined. Patients with COPD had a similar carnosine concentration [4.16mmol/kg wet weight (WW; SD = 1.93)] to HCs [4.64mmol/kg WW (SD = 1.71)] and significantly higher percentage of fast-twitch fibers and lower QE, V(O2)peak, and PA versus HCs. Patients with severe/very severe COPD had a 31% lower carnosine concentration [3.24mmol/kg WW (SD = 1.79); n = 15] versus patients with mild/moderate COPD [4.71mmol/kg WW (SD = 1.83); n = 25; P = 0.02] and significantly lower V(O2)peak and PA versus patients with mild/moderate COPD. Carnosine correlated significantly with QE (r(s) = 0.427), V(O2)peak (r(s) = 0.334), PA (r(s) = 0.379), and lung function parameters in patients with COPD. In conclusion, despite having the highest proportion of fast-twitch fibers, patients with severe/very severe COPD displayed a 31% lower muscle carnosine concentration compared with patients with mild/moderate COPD. As no other markers of oxidative/carbonyl stress or antioxidants were affected, the observed carnosine deficiency is thought to be a possible first sign of muscle redox balance abnormalities.NEW & NOTEWORTHY Carnosine, particularly present in fast-twitch fibers, was investigated in the quadriceps of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Carnosine concentration was similar between patients with COPD and healthy controls but was 31% lower in patients with severe/very severe COPD, despite their high proportion of fast-twitch fibers, versus patients with mild/moderate COPD. As no other markers of oxidative/carbonyl stress or antioxidants were affected, the observed carnosine deficiency is thought to be a possible first sign of muscle redox balance abnormalities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1230-1240
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Volume131
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021

Keywords

  • carbonyl stress
  • carnosine
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • oxidative stress
  • quadriceps
  • VASTUS LATERALIS MUSCLE
  • SKELETAL-MUSCLE
  • PROTEIN OXIDATION
  • PULMONARY
  • EXERCISE
  • SUPPLEMENTATION
  • DYSFUNCTION
  • MORTALITY
  • ENDURANCE
  • MODERATE

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