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Improving mitochondrial function with SS-31 reverses age-related redox stress and improves exercise tolerance in aged mice

Campbell, Matthew, Duan, Jicheng, Samuelson, Ashton T., Gaffrey, Matthew J., Merrihew, Gennifer E., Egertson, Jarrett D., Wang, Lu, Bammler, Theo K., Moore, Ronald J., White, Collin C., Kavanagh, Terrance J., Voss, Joachim G., Szeto, Hazel H., Rabinovitch, Peter S., MacCoss, Michael J., Qian, Wei-Jun and Marcinek, David J. (2019) Improving mitochondrial function with SS-31 reverses age-related redox stress and improves exercise tolerance in aged mice. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 134. pp. 268-281. ISSN 0891-5849

Item Type: Article


Sarcopenia and exercise intolerance are major contributors to reduced quality of life in the elderly for which there are few effective treatments. We tested whether enhancing mitochondrial function and reducing mitochondrial oxidant production with SS-31 (elamipretide) could restore redox balance and improve skeletal muscle function in aged mice. Young (5 mo) and aged (26 mo) female C57BL/6Nia mice were treated for 8-weeks with 3 mg/kg/day SS-31. Mitochondrial function was assessed in vivo using 31P and optical spectroscopy. SS-31 reversed age-related decline in maximum mitochondrial ATP production (ATPmax) and coupling of oxidative phosphorylation (P/O). Despite the increased in vivo mitochondrial capacity, mitochondrial protein expression was either unchanged or reduced in the treated aged mice and respiration in permeabilized gastrocnemius (GAS) fibers was not different between the aged and aged+SS-31 mice. Treatment with SS-31 also restored redox homeostasis in the aged skeletal muscle. The glutathione redox status was more reduced and thiol redox proteomics indicated a robust reversal of cysteine S-glutathionylation post-translational modifications across the skeletal muscle proteome. The gastrocnemius in the age+SS-31 mice was more fatigue resistant with significantly greater mass compared to aged controls. This contributed to a significant increase in treadmill endurance compared to both pretreatment and untreated control values. These results demonstrate that the shift of redox homeostasis due to mitochondrial oxidant production in aged muscle is a key factor in energetic defects and exercise intolerance. Treatment with SS-31 restores redox homeostasis, improves mitochondrial quality, and increases exercise tolerance without an increase in mitochondrial content. Since elamipretide is currently in clinical trials these results indicate it may have direct translational value for improving exercise tolerance and quality of life in the elderly.

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Depositing User: Matthew Campbell


Item ID: 13130
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ISSN: 0891-5849
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ORCID for Matthew Campbell: ORCID iD

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Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2021 11:30
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2021 11:31


Author: Matthew Campbell ORCID iD
Author: Jicheng Duan
Author: Ashton T. Samuelson
Author: Matthew J. Gaffrey
Author: Gennifer E. Merrihew
Author: Jarrett D. Egertson
Author: Lu Wang
Author: Theo K. Bammler
Author: Ronald J. Moore
Author: Collin C. White
Author: Terrance J. Kavanagh
Author: Joachim G. Voss
Author: Hazel H. Szeto
Author: Peter S. Rabinovitch
Author: Michael J. MacCoss
Author: Wei-Jun Qian
Author: David J. Marcinek

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Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing > School of Medicine

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