Modulating the metabolism by trimetazidine enhances myoblast differentiation and promotes myogenesis in cachectic tumor-bearing c26 mice

Lucia Gatta, Laura Vitiello, Stefania Gorini, Sergio Chiandotto, Paola Costelli, Anna Maria Giammarioli, Walter Malorni, Giuseppe Rosano, Elisabetta Ferraro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Trimetazidine (TMZ) is a metabolic reprogramming agent able to partially inhibit mitochondrial free fatty acid β-oxidation while enhancing glucose oxidation. Here we have found that the metabolic shift driven by TMZ enhances the myogenic potential of skeletal muscle progenitor cells leading to MyoD, Myogenin, Desmin and the slow isoforms of troponin C and I over-expression. Moreover, similarly to exercise, TMZ stimulates the phosphorylation of the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and up-regulates the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1-α (PGC1α), both of which are known to enhance the mitochondrial biogenesis necessary for myoblast differentiation. TMZ also induces autophagy which is required during myoblast differentiation and promotes myoblast alignment which allows cell fusion and myofiber formation. Finally, we found that intraperitoneally administered TMZ (5mg/kg) is able to stimulate myogenesisin vivoboth in a mice model of cancer cachexia (C26 mice) and upon cardiotoxin damage. Collectively, our work demonstrates that TMZ enhances myoblast differentiation and promotes myogenesis, which might contribute recovering stem cell blunted regenerative capacity and counteracting muscle wasting, thanks to the formation of new myofibers; TMZ is already in use in humans as an anti-anginal drug and its repositioning might impact significantly on aging and regeneration-impaired disorders, including cancer cachexia, as well as have implications in regenerative medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113938-113956
Number of pages19
Issue number69
Publication statusPublished - Dec 26 2017



  • Myogenesis

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