Vitamin D produces a perilipin 2-dependent increase in mitochondrial function in C2C12 myotubes

David M. Schnell, R. Grace Walton, Hemendra J. Vekaria, Patrick G. Sullivan, Lance M. Bollinger, Charlotte A. Peterson, D. Travis Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Vitamin D has been connected with increased intramyocellular lipid (IMCL) and has also been shown to increase mitochondrial function and insulin sensitivity. Evidence suggests that perilipin 2 (PLIN2), a perilipin protein upregulated with calcitriol treatment, may be integral to managing increased IMCL capacity and lipid oxidation in skeletal muscle. Therefore, we hypothesized that PLIN2 is required for vitamin D induced IMCL accumulation and increased mitochondrial oxidative function. To address this hypothesis, we treated C2C12 myotubes with 100 nM calcitriol (the active form of vitamin D) and/or PLIN2 siRNA in a four group design and analyzed markers of IMCL accumulation and metabolism using qRT-PCR, cytochemistry, and oxygen consumption assay. Expression of PLIN2, but not PLIN3 or PLIN5 mRNA was increased with calcitriol, and PLIN2 induction was prevented with siRNA knockdown without compensation by other perilipins. PLIN2 knockdown did not appear to prevent lipid accumulation. Calcitriol treatment increased mRNA expression of triglyceride synthesizing genes DGAT1 and DGAT2 and also lipolytic genes ATGL and CGI-58. PLIN2 knockdown decreased the expression of CGI-58 and CPT1, and was required for calcitriol-induced upregulation of DGAT2. Calcitriol increased oxygen consumption rate while PLIN2 knockdown decreased oxygen consumption rate. PLIN2 was required for a calcitriol-induced increase in oxygen consumption driven by mitochondrial complex II. We conclude that calcitriol increases mitochondrial function in myotubes and that this increase is at least in part mediated by PLIN2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-92
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Nutritional Biochemistry
StatePublished - Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Inc.


  • C2C12
  • Lipid droplet
  • Metabolism
  • Mitochondria
  • PLIN2
  • Skeletal muscle
  • Vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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