Effects of Horse Meat Hydrolysate on Oxidative Stress, Proinflammatory Cytokines, and the Ubiquitin-Proteasomal System of C2C12 cells

Hee-Jeong Lee1, Dongwook Kim Kim1, Kyoungtag Do2, Chang-Beom Yang2, Seong-Won Jeon2, Aera Jang1,*
Author Information & Copyright
1Department of Applied Animal Science, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon 24341, Korea.
2Department of Animal Biotechnology, Jeju National University, Jeju 63243, Korea.
*Corresponding Author: Aera Jang. E-mail:

© Copyright 2023 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 ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Received: Jul 02, 2023 ; Revised: Sep 03, 2023 ; Accepted: Oct 05, 2023

Published Online: Oct 23, 2023


Sarcopenia, the age-related muscle atrophy, is a serious concern as it is associated with frailty, reduced physical functions, and increased mortality risk. Protein supplementation is essential for preserving muscle mass, and horse meat can be an excellent source of proteins. Since sarcopenia occurs under conditions of oxidative stress, this study aimed to investigate the potential anti-muscle atrophy effect of horse meat hydrolysate using C2C12 cells. A horse meat hydrolysate less than 3 kDa (A4<3kDa) significantly increased the viability of C2C12 myoblasts against H2O2-induced cytotoxicity. Exposure of C2C12 myoblasts to lipopolysaccharide led to an elevation of cellular reactive oxygen species levels and mRNA expression of proinflammatory cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin 6, and these effects were attenuated by A4<3kDa treatment. Additionally, A4<3kDa activated protein synthesis-related proteins through the protein kinase B/mechanistic target of rapamycin pathway, while decreasing the expression of activity and degradation-related proteins, such as Forkhead box O3, muscle RING finger protein-1, and Atrogin-1 in dexamethasone-treated C2C12 myotubes. Therefore, the natural material A4<3kDa has the potential of protecting against muscle atrophy, while further in vivo study is needed.

Keywords: horse meat; muscle atrophy; C2C12 cells; oxidative stress; hydrolysate