Comparative study of testosterone and vitamin D analogue, elocalcitol, on insulin-controlled signal transduction pathway regulation in human skeletal muscle cells

  • C. Antinozzi
  • F. Marampon
  • P. Sgrò
  • V. Tombolini
  • A. Lenzi
  • C. CrescioliEmail author
  • L. Di Luigi
Original Article



Skeletal muscle (Skm) plays a key role in regulating energetic metabolism through glucose homeostasis. Several hormones such as Testosterone (T) and Vitamin D (VD) have been shown to affect energy-dependent cell trafficking by determining Insulin (I)-like effects.


To elucidate possible hormone-related differences on muscular metabolic control, we analyzed and compared the effects of T and elocalcitol (elo), a VD analogue, on the activation of energy-dependent cell trafficking, metabolism-related-signal transduction pathways and transcription of gene downstream targets.


Human fetal skeletal muscle cells (Hfsmc) treated with T or elo were analyzed for GLUT4 localization, phosphorylation/activation status of AKT, ERK1/2, IRS-1 signaling and c-MYC protein expression.


T, similar to elo, induced GLUT4 protein translocation likely in lipid raft microdomains. While both T and elo induced a rapid IRS-1 phosphorylation, the following dynamic in phosphorylation/activation of AKT and ERK1/2 signaling was different. Moreover, T but not elo increased c-MYC protein expression.


All together, our evidence indicates that whether both T and elo are able to affect upstream I-like pathway, they differently determine downstream effects in I-dependent cascade, suggesting diverse physiological roles in mediating I-like response in human skeletal muscle.


Testosterone Elocalcitol Metabolism Insulin Human skeletal muscle cells 



The Authors wish to thank Dr. Francesca Serena Pignataro, University of Rome Foro Italico and IRCCS San Raffaele Pisana, Department of Internal Medicine, Rome for her assistance in coordination/supervision during manuscript revision and re-writing; Dr. Silvia Giannattasio, University of Rome Foro Italico, for her assistance in reference editing. This research was supported by the grant PRIN (prot. 2010C8ERKX_002) from “University of Rome “Foro Italico”, P. I. Luigi Di Luigi.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

No informed consent.


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Antinozzi
    • 1
  • F. Marampon
    • 1
    • 2
  • P. Sgrò
    • 1
  • V. Tombolini
    • 2
  • A. Lenzi
    • 3
  • C. Crescioli
    • 1
    Email author
  • L. Di Luigi
    • 1
  1. 1.Unit of Endocrinology, Department of Movement, Human and Health SciencesUniversity of Rome “Foro Italico”RomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of RadiotherapySapienza University of RomeRomeItaly
  3. 3.Department of Experimental MedicineSapienza University of RomeRomeItaly

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