High levels of CO2 downregulates skeletal muscle protein anabolism, according to a recent paper by TC Korponay et al (2020) in the American Journal of American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology.
Two independent conditions are associated with worse outcomes in patients with chronic pulmonary diseases; the retention of a high amount of Co2 (also called “hypercapnia”) and skeletal muscle wasting (also associated with worse outcomes in acute pulmonary disease).
Due to the current lack of research on the role of high CO2 levels in regulating skeletal muscle anabolism, researchers sought to investigate the role of high CO2 levels in weakening skeletal muscle protein synthesis in both patients and mice.
Researchers found that locomotor muscles from patients with chronic CO2 retention had decreased ribosomal gene expression in comparison to patients who did not retain CO2 to the same extent. Additionally, researchers found that mice in a high-CO2 environment had downregulated ribosomal biogenesis in their skeletal muscles, as well as decreased protein synthesis.
Evidently, researchers found that there was an impact of high CO2 levels on skeletal muscle synthesis and anabolism. Researchers suggested future studies focusing on ribosomal biogensis and protein synthesis to counteract the impacts of high CO2 on skeletal muscles.