Vitamin D is known to be effective for the prevention of muscle atrophy, such as age-related sarcopenia. However, vitamin D action in skeletal muscle tissue and muscle cells is largely unknown. We previously found that a transcription factor, FOXO1 gene expression, was induced in various muscle atrophy conditions causing muscle atrophy by upregulating atrophy-related genes, including atrogin 1 (ubiquitin ligase) and cathepsin L (lysosomal proteinase). In this study, we found that vitamin D inhibited FOXO1-mediated transcriptional activity in a reporter gene assay. Moreover, vitamin D suppressed the glucocorticoid-induced gene expression of atrogin 1 and cathepsin L in C2C12 myoblasts. Thus, vitamin D may prevent muscle atrophy via the FOXO1-mediated pathway in muscle cells.
Keywords: atrophy; nuclear receptor; sarcopenia; skeletal muscle; vitamin D.