About this Research Topic
The skeletal muscle is composed by multiple fibers that provide its characteristic plasticity allowing the adaptation to various physiological conditions. Skeletal muscle fibers differ one from another in the contractile apparatus composition, calcium handling properties, metabolic profile, capillarization, and morphological features. Altogether, these characteristics constitute the so-called fiber profile. Traditionally, the isoforms of Myosin Heavy Chain (MHC) in muscle fibers are considered the gold standard in the correlation of the morphological, contractile, and metabolic properties.
Skeletal muscles do not exclusively convert chemical energy to mechanical work, but also play a fundamental role in the maintenance of the basal metabolism. As a result, an adequate quantity and quality of skeletal muscles can contribute to an optimal health condition. In turn, the skeletal muscle is a plastic organ that undergoes important modifications during age, training, disuse and other pathological conditions.
Recent results suggest that muscle changes are ascribable to cell specific modifications that involve MHCs transition, metabolic capacity and morphological features. Interestingly, although MHCs are considered the gold standard, the metabolic capacity of a fiber has been shown to deviate from their expression in highly trained or aged muscles. Assuming that muscles execute a plan to maintain the best of their functionality, these evidences introduce a new perspective, where muscle fibers are able to fine-tune their properties independently of the MHC expressed upon need.
Ideally, this Research Topic will provide information on skeletal muscle fiber profiles in distinct physiological conditions. This will allow the design of a sort of fingerprint of different muscles, the prediction of those fiber-specific parameters that assure a good quality muscle, and to understand the heterogeneity of muscles’ response to different physiological needs.
The aim of this Research Topic is to provide in depth knowledge of the skeletal muscle fibers’ specific characteristic in humans and animal models. Age or activity related modifications, and active molecules able to tune the metabolic profile are of special interest. Submissions will be accepted in the form of original work, brief research reports, perspectives and review articles. The Topic will address the following interests:
- Effects of exercise
- Effects of bioactive compounds
- Role of nutrition
- Age dependent fiber profile
- Gender dependent characteristics
- Molecular mechanisms responsible of the modulation of the fiber profile
- Skeletal muscle metabolism
- Factors influencing the skeletal muscle metabolic capacity
- Oxidative stress
- Age-related muscle atrophy
- Hibernation mechanisms
Keywords: Skeletal Muscle, Fiber size, Myosine Heavy Chain, Oxidative Capacity, Fiber Profile
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