Sarcopenia is associated with increased morbidity and mortality in chronic kidney disease (CKD). Pathogenic mechanism of skeletal muscle loss in CKD, which is defined as uremic sarcopenia, remains unclear. We found that causative pathological mechanism of uremic sarcopenia is metabolic alterations by uremic toxin indoxyl sulfate. Imaging mass spectrometry revealed indoxyl sulfate accumulated in muscle tissue of a mouse model of CKD. Comprehensive metabolomics revealed that indoxyl sulfate induces metabolic alterations such as upregulation of glycolysis, including pentose phosphate pathway acceleration as antioxidative stress response, via nuclear factor (erythroid-2-related factor)-2. The altered metabolic flow to excess antioxidative response resulted in downregulation of TCA cycle and its effected mitochondrial dysfunction and ATP shortage in muscle cells. In clinical research, a significant inverse association between plasma indoxyl sulfate and skeletal muscle mass in CKD patients was observed. Our results indicate that indoxyl sulfate is a pathogenic factor for sarcopenia in CKD.
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