Supplementary Material for: Low-Intensity Exercise Suppresses CCAAT/Enhancer-Binding Protein δ/Myostatin Pathway Through Androgen Receptor in Muscle Cells

Background: Androgen production following exercise has been suggested to contribute anabolic actions of muscle. However, the underlying mechanisms of the androgen receptor (AR) in androgen’s action are still unclear. Objective: In the present study, we examined androgen/AR-mediated action in exercise, especially for the suppression of myostatin, a potent negative regulator of muscle mass. Methods: To examine the effects of exercise, we employed low-intensity exercise in mice and electric pulse stimulation (EPS) in C2C12 myotubes. Androgen production by C2C12 myotubes was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. To block the action of AR, we pretreated C2C12 myotubes with flutamide. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to determine the expression levels of proteolytic genes including CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein delta (C/EBPδ), myostatin and muscle E3 ubiquitin ligases, as well as myogenic genes such as myogenin and PGC1α. The activation of 5′-adenosine-activated protein kinase and STAT3 was determined by Western blot analysis. Results: Both mRNA and protein levels of AR significantly increased in skeletal muscle of low-intensity exercised mice and C2C12 myotubes exposed to EPS. Production of testosterone and dihydrotestosterone from EPS-treated C2C12 myotubes was markedly increased. Of interest, we found that myostatin was clearly inhibited by EPS, and its inhibition was significantly abrogated when AR was blocked by flutamide. To test how AR suppresses myostatin, we examined the effects of EPS on C/EBPδ because the promoter region of myostatin has several C/EBP recognition sites. C/EBPδ expression was decreased by EPS, and this decrease was negated by flutamide. IL-6 and phospho-STAT3 (pSTAT3) expression, the downstream pathway of myostatin, were decreased by EPS and this was also reversed by flutamide. Similar downregulation of C/EBPδ, myostatin, and IL-6 was seen in skeletal muscle of low-intensity exercised mice. Conclusions: Muscle AR expression and androgen production were increased by exercise and EPS treatment. As a mechanistical insight, it is suggested that AR inhibited myostatin expression transcriptionally by C/EBPδ suppression, which negatively influences IL-6/pSTAT3 expression and consequently contributes to the prevention of muscle proteolysis during exercise.