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Does hypoxia play a role in the development of sarcopenia in humans? Mechanistic insights from the Caudwell Xtreme Everest Expedition

Wandrag, L; Siervo, M; Riley, HL; Khosravi, M; Fernandez, BO; Leckstrom, CA; Martin, DS; ... Caudwell Xtreme Everest Research Group; + view all (2017) Does hypoxia play a role in the development of sarcopenia in humans? Mechanistic insights from the Caudwell Xtreme Everest Expedition. Redox Biology , 13 pp. 60-68. 10.1016/j.redox.2017.05.004. Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Sarcopenia refers to the involuntary loss of skeletal muscle and is a predictor of physical disability/mortality. Its pathogenesis is poorly understood, although roles for altered hypoxic signaling, oxidative stress, adipokines and inflammatory mediators have been suggested. Sarcopenia also occurs upon exposure to the hypoxia of high altitude. Using data from the Caudwell Xtreme Everest expedition we therefore sought to analyze the extent of hypoxia-induced body composition changes and identify putative pathways associated with fat-free mass (FFM) and fat mass (FM) loss. METHODS: After baseline testing in London (75m), 24 investigators ascended from Kathmandu (1300m) to Everest base camp (EBC 5300m) over 13 days. Fourteen investigators climbed above EBC, eight of whom reached the summit (8848m). Assessments were conducted at baseline, during ascent and after one, six and eight week(s) of arrival at EBC. Changes in body composition (FM, FFM, total body water, intra- and extra-cellular water) were measured by bioelectrical impedance. Biomarkers of nitric oxide and oxidative stress were measured together with adipokines, inflammatory, metabolic and vascular markers. RESULTS: Participants lost a substantial, but variable, amount of body weight (7.3±4.9kg by expedition end; p<0.001). A progressive loss of both FM and FFM was observed, and after eight weeks, the proportion of FFM loss was 48% greater than FM loss (p<0.008). Changes in protein carbonyls (p<0.001) were associated with a decline in FM whereas 4-hydroxynonenal (p<0.001) and IL-6 (p<0.001) correlated with FFM loss. GLP-1 (r=-0.45, p<0.001) and nitrite (r=-0.29, p<0.001) concentration changes were associated with FFM loss. In a multivariate model, GLP-1, insulin and nitrite were significant predictors of FFM loss while protein carbonyls were predicted FM loss. CONCLUSIONS: The putative role of GLP-1 and nitrite as mediators of the effects of hypoxia on FFM is an intriguing finding. If confirmed, nutritional and pharmacological interventions targeting these pathways may offer new avenues for prevention and treatment of sarcopenia.

Type: Article
Title: Does hypoxia play a role in the development of sarcopenia in humans? Mechanistic insights from the Caudwell Xtreme Everest Expedition
Location: Netherlands
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.redox.2017.05.004
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.redox.2017.05.004
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Glucagon-like peptide-1, Hypobaric hypoxia, Hypoxemia, Inflammation, Insulin, Interleukin-6, Lean body mass, Nitrite, Oxidative stress
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine > Experimental and Translational Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci > Department of Surgical Biotechnology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Infection, Immunity and Inflammation Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1558631
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