Cellular and Molecular Variations in Male and Female Murine Skeletal Muscle after Long-Term Feeding with a High-Fat Diet

Bright Starling Emerald, Mohammed A. Al Jailani, Marwa F. Ibrahim, Challagandla Anil Kumar, Mohammed Z. Allouh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Current information regarding the effects of a high-fat diet (HFD) on skeletal muscle is contradictory. This study aimed to investigate the effects of a long-term HFD on skeletal muscle in male and female mice at the morphological, cellular, and molecular levels. Adult mice of the C57BL/6 strain were fed standard chow or an HFD for 20 weeks. The tibialis anterior muscles were dissected, weighed, and processed for cellular and molecular analyses. Immunocytochemical and morphometric techniques were applied to quantify fiber size, satellite cells (SCs), and myonuclei. Additionally, PCR array and RT-qPCR tests were performed to determine the expression levels of key muscle genes. Muscles from HFD mice showed decreases in weight, SCs, and myonuclei, consistent with the atrophic phenotype. This atrophy was associated with a decrease in the percentage of oxidative fibers within the muscle. These findings were further confirmed by molecular analyses that showed significant reductions in the expression of Pax7, Myh1, and Myh2 genes and increased Mstn gene expression. Male and female mice showed similar trends in response to HFD-induced obesity. These findings indicate that the long-term effects of obesity on skeletal muscle resemble those of age-related sarcopenia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9547
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • Myh
  • Pax7
  • fiber type
  • myonuclei
  • myosin
  • myostatin
  • satellite cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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