Disrupted macrophage metabolic reprogramming in aged soleus muscle during early recovery following disuse atrophy

Abstract

Aged skeletal muscle is characterized by poor muscle recovery following disuse coinciding with an impaired muscle pro-inflammatory macrophage response. Macrophage inflammatory status is regulated by its metabolic state, but little is understood of macrophage metabolism and its relation to macrophage inflammation in the context of muscle recovery and aging. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to thoroughly characterize macrophage metabolism and inflammation in aged muscle during early recovery following disuse atrophy using single cell transcriptomics and functional assays. Young (4-5 months) and old (20-22 months) male C57BL/6 mice underwent 14 days of hindlimb unloading followed by 4 days of ambulatory recovery. CD45+ cells were isolated from solei muscles and analyzed using 10x Genomics single cell RNA sequencing. We found that aged pro-inflammatory macrophage clusters were characterized with an impaired inflammatory and glycolytic transcriptome, and this dysregulation was accompanied by a suppression of HIF-1α and its immediate downstream target, Glut1. As a follow-up, bone marrow-derived macrophages were isolated from a separate cohort of young and old mice at 4-d recovery and were polarized to a pro-inflammatory phenotype and used for glycolysis stress test, phagocytosis activity assay, and targeted GC-MS metabolomics. Aged bone marrow-derived pro-inflammatory macrophages were characterized with impaired glycolysis and phagocytosis function, decreased succinate and an accumulation of glycolytic metabolic intermediates overall supporting reduced glycolytic flux and macrophage function. Our results indicate that the metabolic reprograming and function of aged skeletal muscle pro-inflammatory macrophages are dysfunctional during early recovery from disuse atrophy possibly attributing to attenuated regrowth.

Publication
Aging Cell, 20(9):e13448