Chronic spinal cord injury (SCI) is difficult to cure, even by several approaches effective at the acute or subacute phase. We focused on skeletal muscle atrophy as a detrimental factor in chronic SCI and explored drugs that protect against muscle atrophy and activate secretion of axonal growth factors from skeletal muscle. We found that acteoside induced the secretion of axonal growth factors from skeletal muscle cells and proliferation of these cells. Intramuscular injection of acteoside in mice with chronic SCI recovered skeletal muscle weight reduction and motor function impairment. We also identified pyruvate kinase isoform M2 (PKM2) as a secreted factor from skeletal muscle cells, stimulated by acteoside. Extracellular PKM2 enhanced proliferation of skeletal muscle cells and axonal growth in cultured neurons. Further, we showed that PKM2 might cross the blood-brain barrier. These results indicate that effects of acteoside on chronic SCI might be mediated by PKM2 secretion from skeletal muscles. This study proposes that the candidate drug acteoside and a new myokine, PKM2, could be used for the treatment of chronic SCI.
Kodani, A., Kikuchi, T., & Tohda, C. (2019). Acteoside Improves Muscle Atrophy and Motor Function by Inducing New Myokine Secretion in Chronic Spinal Cord Injury. Journal of Neurotrauma, 36(12), 1935–1948. https://doi.org/10.1089/neu.2018.6000