Differential expression of perilipin 2 and 5 in human skeletal muscle during aging and their association with atrophy-related genes

Maria Conte, Francesco Vasuri, Enrico Bertaggia, Andrea Armani, Aurelia Santoro, Elena Bellavista, Alessio Degiovanni, Antonia D’Errico-Grigioni, Giovanni Trisolino, Miriam Capri, Martino V. Franchi, Marco V. Narici, Marco Sandri, Claudio Franceschi, Stefano Salvioli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sarcopenia, the progressive loss of muscle mass and strength, is a phenomenon characterizing human aging whose etiology is still not clear. While there is increasing evidence for the influence of inter-muscular adipose tissue infiltration in the development of sarcopenia, much less is known about a possible role for intra-muscular triglycerides (IMTG). IMTG accumulate in form of lipid droplets decorated by proteins such as Perilipins (Plins). In skeletal muscle the most abundant are Plin2 and Plin5. In this study we compared the expression of these two Plins in Vastus lateralis muscle samples of subjects of different age, both healthy donors (HD) and patients with limited lower limb mobility (LLMI). These latter are characterized by a condition of chronic physical inactivity. Plin2 expression resulted higher in old age for both HD and LLMI patients, while Plin5 slightly decreased only in LLMI patients. Moreover, in these patients, only Plin2 was associated with the decrease of muscle strength and the expression of factors related to muscle atrophy (MuRF1, Atrogin and p53). An increase in Plin2 and a concomitant decrease of Plin5 was also observed when we considered animal model of disuse-induced muscle atrophy. As a whole, these data indicate that Plin2 and Plin5 have a different expression pattern during muscle aging and inactivity, and only Plin2 appears to be associated with functional alterations of the muscle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-340
Number of pages12
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 6 2015


  • Atrophy
  • Muscle aging
  • p53
  • Perilipins
  • Sarcopenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Gerontology
  • Ageing
  • Medicine(all)


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