Plastic Additives Decrease Agrin-Induced Acetylcholine Receptor Clusters and Myotube Formation in C2C12 Skeletal Muscle Cell Culture


Common additives in plastics such as bisphenol A (BPA) or phthalates like di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) are environmental estrogens that have been shown to be endocrine disruptors in some experimental animal models. This project used the C2C12 cell culture model to examine how exposure to BPA or DEHP affects two aspects of skeletal muscle development, the fusion of myoblasts into myotubes and agrin-induced clustering of acetylcholine receptors (AChRs). During myotube formation AChRs cluster spontaneously. Treatment with motor neuron derived agrin increases the frequency of AChR clusters through an agrin signaling pathway that also clusters other postsynaptic components of the neuromuscular synapse. For this project C2C12 cells were exposed to BPA or DEHP while myoblasts fused into myotubes. After exposure to 10 μM BPA or 100 μM DEHP the frequency of agrin-induced AChR clusters decreased. In addition, myotube formation decreased as a higher percentage of nuclei remained in myoblasts. Furthermore, BPA or DEHP reduced the amount of the myogenic regulatory factor myogenin. This suggests that BPA and DEHP decrease AChR clustering by reducing myogenin. Moreover, plastic additives like BPA and DEHP may pose a risk for skeletal muscle development in humans.

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Neufeld, K. , Ezell, K. and Grow, W. (2015) Plastic Additives Decrease Agrin-Induced Acetylcholine Receptor Clusters and Myotube Formation in C2C12 Skeletal Muscle Cell Culture. CellBio, 4, 12-22. doi: 10.4236/cellbio.2015.41002.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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