Obese subcutaneous adipose tissue impairs human myogenesis, particularly in old skeletal muscle, via resistin-mediated activation of NFκB

Sci Rep. 2018 Oct 18;8(1):15360. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-33840-x.


Adiposity and adipokines are implicated in the loss of skeletal muscle mass with age and in several chronic disease states. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of human obese and lean subcutaneous adipose tissue secretome on myogenesis and metabolism in skeletal muscle cells derived from both young (18-30 yr) and elderly (>65 yr) individuals. Obese subcutaneous adipose tissue secretome impaired the myogenesis of old myoblasts but not young myoblasts. Resistin was prolifically secreted by obese subcutaneous adipose tissue and impaired myotube thickness and nuclear fusion by activation of the classical NFκB pathway. Depletion of resistin from obese adipose tissue secretome restored myogenesis. Inhibition of the classical NFκB pathway protected myoblasts from the detrimental effect of resistin on myogenesis. Resistin also promoted intramyocellular lipid accumulation in myotubes and altered myotube metabolism by enhancing fatty acid oxidation and increasing myotube respiration and ATP production. In conclusion, resistin derived from human obese subcutaneous adipose tissue impairs myogenesis of human skeletal muscle, particularly older muscle, and alters muscle metabolism in developing myotubes. These findings may have important implications for the maintenance of muscle mass in older people with chronic inflammatory conditions, or older people who are obese or overweight.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Culture Media, Conditioned / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Development / drug effects
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / drug effects
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / pathology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology*
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism*
  • Obesity / physiopathology*
  • Resistin / metabolism*
  • Subcutaneous Fat / physiopathology*
  • Thinness*
  • Young Adult


  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • NF-kappa B
  • RETN protein, human
  • Resistin