Low culture temperature inhibits myogenic differentiation through mitochondrial activity

Ai Shima, Ryoichi Matsuda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


A previous study by our group reported that mouse and human myoblasts fail to express myogenin and to fuse into multi-nucleate myotubes when cultured at low temperature, such as 30°C, but that this activity is rescued by adding IGF-I and vitamin C to the culture medium. In the present study, we examined mitochondrial activity as a target of the inhibitory effects of the low culture temperature. It has been suggested that mitochondria regulate myogenesis. By using a mouse myoblast cell line C2C12, we demonstrate that the expression of cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COX I), which is encoded in mitochondrial genome, increases during myogenic differentiation at the normal culture temperature (38°C), but that this up-regulation is inhibited at 30°C. The mitochondrial membrane potential also decreased at 30°C compared to the culture at 38°C. However, IGF-I and vitamin C rescued both COX I expression and mitochondrial membrane potential at 30°C as promoting muscle differentiation. We also find that the rescue of mitochondrial activity by IGF-I and vitamin C at 30°C occurred after the myogenin expression, which suggests that myogenin regulates mitochondrial function during myogenesis. We suggest that our low temperature-culture system may be suitable for use in studying the detailed mechanism of myogenin-related phenomena during myogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-134
Number of pages6
JournalZoological Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015


  • IGF
  • mitochondria
  • myogenesis
  • myogenin
  • skeletal muscle
  • temperature
  • vitamin C


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