5-Hydroxymethylfurfural reduces skeletal muscle superoxide production and modifies force production in rats exposed to hypobaric hypoxia.


Decreased blood-tissue oxygenation at high altitude (HA) increases mitochondrial oxidant production and reduces exercise capacity. 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF) is an antioxidant that increases hemoglobin's binding affinity for oxygen. For these reasons, we hypothesized that 5-HMF would improve muscle performance in rats exposed to a simulated HA of ~5500 m. A secondary objective was to measure mitochondrial activity and dynamic regulation of fission and fusion because they are linked processes impacted by HA. Fisher 344 rats received 5-HMF (40 mg/kg/day) or vehicle during exposure to sea level or HA for 72 h. Right ankle plantarflexor muscle function was measured pre- and post-exposure. Post-exposure measurements included arterial blood gas and complete blood count, flexor digitorum brevis myofiber superoxide production and mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm), and mitochondrial dynamic regulation in the soleus muscle. HA reduced blood oxygenation, increased superoxide levels and lowered ΔΨm, responses that were accompanied by decreased peak isometric torque and force production at frequencies >75 Hz. 5-HMF increased isometric force production and lowered oxidant production at sea level. In HA exposed animals, 5-HMF prevented a decline in isometric force production at 75-125 Hz, prevented an increase in superoxide levels, further decreased ΔΨm, and increased mitochondrial fusion 2 protein expression. These results suggest that 5-HMF may prevent a decrease in hypoxic force production during submaximal isometric contractions by an antioxidant mechanism.





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Publication Info

Ciarlone, Geoffrey E, Joshua M Swift, Brian T Williams, Richard T Mahon, Nicholas G Roney, Tianzheng Yu and Heath G Gasier (2023). 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural reduces skeletal muscle superoxide production and modifies force production in rats exposed to hypobaric hypoxia. Physiological reports, 11(14). p. e15743. 10.14814/phy2.15743 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/29611.

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Heath Gasier

Associate Professor in Anesthesiology

I am a physiologist who joined Duke University in 2019 after retiring from military service. My research has focused on understanding how oxidant stress impacts cellular and systems physiology. Initially, I studied in humans how hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) within the therapeutic range and high altitude influence nitric oxide production, antioxidant defenses, tissue oxygenation and muscle performance. This work sparked my interest in redox biology and led me to train under Dr. Claude A. Piantadosi at Duke University. Here, I began to study in mice and rats the impact of extreme HBO2 on the central nervous system (CNS). The objectives were to identify in rodents the origin and mechanisms of CNS oxygen toxicity, and test targeted pharmacological intervention strategies. It was during this time that I became interested in heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1). During my final military assignment, I continued to work on HBO2 and CNS oxygen toxicity related research (pharmacological intervention) and initiated new studies examining how HO-1 induction influences musculoskeletal health in diet-induced obesity. These studies led to follow-on work aimed at determining the mechanisms of HO-1 induction and mitochondrial dynamic regulation in an in vitro model of diet-induced obesity. In addition, I was involved in research aimed at understanding how antioxidants influence skeletal muscle mitochondrial dynamics in rodents and cells exposed heat stress and extreme high altitude.

Since returning to Duke University, I continue to conduct research focused on understanding how oxidant stress induced by HBO2 and obesity influences mitochondrial dynamic regulation in the brain, lung and skeletal muscle. I am now studying how sarcopenia and gender influence these responses. I am also involved (Co-I) in research testing the efficacy of a home-based high intensity interval training program in COVID-19 critical illness and early parenteral nutrition in abdominal trauma victims. In both of these studies, my efforts will be directed towards measuring inflammation and mitochondrial quality control responses to the interventions, which are linked to HO-1 activation.

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