Molecular And Cellular Networks in Critical Illness Associated Muscle Weakness Skeletal Muscle Proteostasis in the Intensive Care Unit

University dissertation from Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Abstract: Critical illness associated muscle weakness and muscle dysfunction in intensive care unit (ICU) patients lead to severe morbidity and mortality as well as significant adverse effect on quality of life. Immobilization, mechanical ventilation, neuromuscular blocking agents, corticosteroids, and sepsis have been implicated as important risk factors, but the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms remain unclear.  A unique porcine ICU model was employed to investigate the effect of these risk factors on the expression profiles, gene expression and contractile properties of limb and diaphragm muscle, in the early phase of ICU stay. This project has focused on unraveling the underlying molecular and cellular pathways or networks in response to ICU and critical illness interventions.Upregulation of heat shock proteins indicated to play a protective role despite number of differentially transcribed gene groups that would otherwise have a negative effect on muscle fiber structure and function in response to immobilization and mechanical ventilation.  Mechanical ventilation appears to play a critical role in development of diaphragmatic dysfunction. Impaired autophagy, chaperone expression and protein synthesis are indicated to play a pivotal role in exacerbating muscle weakness in response to the combined effect of risk factors in ICU. These results may be of therapeutic importance in alleviating critical illness associated muscle weakness.