Effect of deer antler extract on muscle differentiation and 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribonucleoside (AICAR)-Induced muscle atrophy in C2C12 cells

Kyungae Jo, Woo Young Jang, Beom Sik Yun, Jin Soo Kim, Hyun Sun Lee, Yeok Boo Chang, Hyung Joo Suh

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9 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of deer antler extract on muscle differentiation and muscle atrophy were evaluated to minimize muscle loss following aging. Various deer antler extracts (HWE, hot water extract of deer antler; FE, HWE of fermented deer antler; ET, enzyme-assisted extract of deer antler; UE, extract prepared by ultrasonication of deer antler) were evaluated for their effect on muscle differentiation and inhibition of 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribonucleoside (AICAR)-induced muscle atrophy in C2C12 cells. Morphological changes according to the effect of antler extracts on muscle differentiation were confirmed by Jenner-Giemsa staining. In addition, the expression levels of genes related to muscle differentiation and atrophy were confirmed through qRT-PCR. In the presence of antler extracts, the length and thickness of myotubes and myogenin differentiation 1 (MyoD1) and myogenic factor 5 (Myf5) gene expression were increased compared to those in the control group (CON). Gene expression of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), MyoD1, and myogenin, along with the muscle atrophy factors muscle RING finger-1 (MuRF-1) and forkhead box O3a (FoxO3a) upon addition of deer antler extracts to muscle-atrophied C2C12 cells was determined by qRT-PCR after treatment with AICAR. The expression of MuRF-1 and FoxO3a decreased in the groups treated with antler extracts compared to that in the group treated with AICAR alone. In addition, gene expression of MyoD1 and myogenin in the muscle atrophy cell model was significantly increased compared that into the CON. Therefore, our findings indicate that antler extract can increase the expression of MyoD1, Myf5 and myogenin, inhibit muscle atrophy, and promote muscle differentiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)623-635
Number of pages13
JournalFood Science of Animal Resources
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Kwang Dong Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd (Q1823491).

Publisher Copyright:
© Korean Society for Food Science of Animal Resources. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licences/by-nc/3.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


  • 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribonucleoside (AICAR)
  • C2C12 cells
  • Deer antler
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Muscle differentiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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