Several muscle-specific microRNAs (myomiRs) are differentially expressed during cellular senescence. However, the role of dietary compounds on myomiRs remains elusive. This study aimed to elucidate the modulatory role of tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF) on myomiRs and myogenic genes during differentiation of human myoblasts. Young and senescent human skeletal muscle myoblasts (HSMM) were treated with 50 μg/mL TRF for 24 h before and after inducing differentiation.
The fusion index and myotube surface area were higher (p < 0.05) on days 3 and 5 than that on day 1 of differentiation. Ageing reduced the differentiation rate, as observed by a decrease in both fusion index and myotube surface area in senescent cells (p < 0.05). Treatment with TRF significantly increased differentiation at days 1, 3 and 5 of young and senescent myoblasts. In senescent myoblasts, TRF increased the expression of miR-206 and miR-486 and decreased PTEN and PAX7 expression. However, the expression of IGF1R was upregulated during early differentiation and decreased at late differentiation when treated with TRF. In young myoblasts, TRF promoted differentiation by modulating the expression of miR-206, which resulted in the reduction of PAX7 expression and upregulation of IGF1R.
TRF can potentially promote myoblast differentiation by modulating the expression of myomiRs, which regulate the expression of myogenic genes.