Scientists study the mechanism of development of therapeutic proteins

Scientists of TSU and Moscow State University have revealed the mechanisms that play a major role in the production of myokines, proteins that have an anti-inflammatory effect. The data will help to activate the production in the body of substances that reduce the level of inflammatory processes. The results of the research were published in the latest issue of one of the most cited interdisciplinary journals, Scientific Reports, from the publishing house Nature Publishing Group.

- Traditionally, it has been believed that calcium ions are the main regulator of metabolic processes in smooth muscles, - says Leonid Kapilevich, head of the Department of Sport and Health Tourism, Sports Physiology, and Medicine of the TSU Faculty of Physical Education. - There was a suggestion that this also applies to the skeletal muscles in which myokine production takes place. Our studies have not confirmed this. We decided to test another hypothesis, so we evaluated the role of Na⁺ and K⁺ in the production of the protein we need.

For this, a series of experiments was conducted at TSU and MSU. Tomsk scientists monitored the process of producing myokines in the body of laboratory mice subjected to physical exertion (running, swimming), and among volunteer athletes performing various types of exercises (running, lifting the bar, and others.). As a result, they established a direct relationship between the nature of muscle contractions and the appearance of certain proteins. Moreover, it was possible to find out that some exercises stimulate the production of certain myokines and inhibit the production of others.

At Moscow State University, experiments were carried out on artificially-grown muscle cells. In the Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Membranes of the Faculty of Biology, they were subjected to electrostimulation, imitating physical exercises. At the same time, scientists controlled the change in the level of Na⁺ and K⁺ ions in the cells.

- The results confirmed the hypothesis put forward by Sergei Orlov from Moscow State University, the head of our project, - says Leonid Kapilevich. - It turned out that the content of Na⁺ and K⁺ ions varies depending on the regimes of skeletal muscle contraction. In the next stage, we plan to see how the production of myokines will change if the movement of Na⁺ and K⁺ ions through the cell membrane is blocked. It is necessary to understand what happens when the concentration of these elements increases in cells and when their level decreases.

These studies will be conducted at TSU on cell cultures. With a grant from the Russian Science Foundation, equipment for growing cells has been purchased, and now it is being installed. Young scientists of the TSU Faculty of Physical Education are trained in the art of cell cultivation in the Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Membranes of Moscow State University, headed by Sergei Orlov. In September, researchers will begin to implement the final phase of the project, during which they expect to receive new data on the mechanism of myokine production. In the future, this will allow us to find the best ways to use them to treat inflammation.

For more information about the research results, see the article in Scientific Reports.