Background: Alcohol abuse is a comorbid factor in many human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients. Previously, we demonstrated that chronic binge alcohol accentuates loss of body mass at terminal stage of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection. The purpose of this study was to investigate changes in pathways that may contribute to muscle wasting in chronic binge alcohol-fed SIV-infected macaques.
Methods: The impact of chronic binge alcohol during SIV infection on insulin signaling and the ubiquitin (Ub)-proteasome system-regulators of protein synthesis and degradation-was examined in SIV-infected macaques.
Results: SIV infection induced an inflammatory and pro-oxidative milieu in skeletal muscle, which was associated with decreased insulin-stimulated phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI-3k) activity and upregulated gene expression of mTOR and atrogin-1, and protein expression of Ub-proteasome system 19S base. Chronic binge alcohol accentuated the skeletal muscle pro-oxidative milieu and 19S base expression. Additionally, chronic binge alcohol increased skeletal muscle protein expression of protein-tyrosine phosphatase 1B (a negative regulator of insulin signaling) and 19S proteasome regulator non-ATPase (Rpn) 6 subunit and Rpn12, and suppressed PI-3K activity. Animals that were alcohol-fed and SIV-infected for >15 months had increased Ub-proteasome system activity.
Conclusions: These data suggest negative modulation of insulin signaling coupled with enhanced Ub-proteasome system activity may be central mechanisms underlying chronic binge alcohol-induced accentuation of SIV-associated muscle wasting.