A need for NAD+ in muscle development, homeostasis, and aging
Roles of NAD+ in skeletal muscle development, homeostasis and aging.
Written by Michelle F. Goody, Clarissa A. Henry
Skeletal muscle enables posture, breathing, and locomotion. Skeletal muscle also impacts systemic processes such as metabolism, thermoregulation, and immunity. Skeletal muscle is energetically expensive and is a major consumer of glucose and fatty acids. Metabolism of fatty acids and glucose requires NAD+ function as a hydrogen/electron transfer molecule. Therefore, NAD+ plays a vital role in energy production. In addition, NAD+ also functions as a cosubstrate for post-translational modifications such as deacetylation and ADP-ribosylation. Therefore, NAD+ levels influence a myriad of cellular processes including mitochondrial biogenesis, transcription, and organization of the extracellular matrix. Clearly, NAD+ is a major player in skeletal muscle development, regeneration, aging, and disease. The vast majority of studies indicate that lower NAD+ levels are deleterious for muscle health and higher NAD+ levels augment muscle health. However, the downstream mechanisms of NAD+ function throughout different cellular compartments are not well understood. The purpose of this review is to highlight recent studies investigating NAD+ function in muscle development, homeostasis, disease, and regeneration. Emerging research areas include elucidating roles for NAD+ in muscle lysosome function and calcium mobilization, mechanisms controlling fluctuations in NAD+ levels during muscle development and regeneration, and interactions between targets of NAD+ signaling (especially mitochondria and the extracellular matrix). This knowledge should facilitate identification of more precise pharmacological and activity-based interventions to raise NAD+ levels in skeletal muscle, thereby promoting human health and function in normal and disease states.
It is clear that NAD+ plays a beneficial role in muscle health. The mechanisms underlying promotion of muscle development and homeostasis by NAD+ are best understood in the context of sirtuin regulation in the nucleus, mitochondria, and cytosol. The role of NAD+ in other cellular compartments—particularly the vesicular and membrane proximal compartments—in muscle health is currently understudied. Future research will likely delve into not only the mechanisms of NAD+ action in these different compartments but also the interplay and signaling between NAD+ pools within and between cells.