Endotoxin-induced decrease in muscle protein synthesis is associated with changes in eIF2B, eIF4E, and IGF-I

Charles H. Lang, Robert A. Frost, Leonard S. Jefferson, Scot R. Kimball, Thomas C. Vary

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74 Scopus citations


The present study examined potential mechanisms contributing to the inhibition of protein synthesis in skeletal muscle after administration of endotoxin (LPS). Rats implanted with vascular catheters were injected intravenously with a nonlethal dose of Escherichia coli LPS, and samples were collected at 4 and 24 h thereafter; pair-fed control animals were also included. The rate of muscle (gastrocnemius) protein synthesis in vivo was reduced at both time points after LPS administration. LPS did not alter tissue RNA content, but the translational efficiency was consistently reduced at both time points. To identify mechanisms responsible for regulating translation, we examined several eukaryotic initiation factors (eIFs). The content of eIF2α, or the amount of eIF2α in the phosphorylated form did not change in response to LPS. eIF2B activity was decreased in muscle 4 h post- LPS but activity returned to control values by 24 h. A decrease in the relative amount of eIF2Bα protein was not responsible for the LPS-induced reduction in eIF2B activity. LPS also markedly altered the distribution of eIF4E in muscle. Compared with control values, LPS-treated rats demonstrated 1) a transient increase in binding of the translation repressor 4E-binding protein-1 (4E-BP1) with eIF4E, 2) a transient decrease in the phosphorylated γ-form of 4E-BP1, and 3) a sustained decrease in the amount of eIF4G associated with eIF4E. LPS also decreased insulin-like growth factor (IGF) I protein and mRNA expression in muscle at both times. A significant linear relationship existed between muscle IGF-I and the rate of protein synthesis or the amount of eIF4E bound to eIF4G. In summary, these data suggest that LPS impairs muscle protein synthesis, at least in part, by decreasing translational efficiency, resulting from an impairment in translation initiation associated with alterations in both eIF2B activity and eIF4E availability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E1133-E1143
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number6 41-6
StatePublished - Jun 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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