Know more

Our use of cookies

Cookies are a set of data stored on a user’s device when the user browses a web site. The data is in a file containing an ID number, the name of the server which deposited it and, in some cases, an expiry date. We use cookies to record information about your visit, language of preference, and other parameters on the site in order to optimise your next visit and make the site even more useful to you.

To improve your experience, we use cookies to store certain browsing information and provide secure navigation, and to collect statistics with a view to improve the site’s features. For a complete list of the cookies we use, download “Ghostery”, a free plug-in for browsers which can detect, and, in some cases, block cookies.

Ghostery is available here for free:

You can also visit the CNIL web site for instructions on how to configure your browser to manage cookie storage on your device.

In the case of third-party advertising cookies, you can also visit the following site:, offered by digital advertising professionals within the European Digital Advertising Alliance (EDAA). From the site, you can deny or accept the cookies used by advertising professionals who are members.

It is also possible to block certain third-party cookies directly via publishers:

Cookie type

Means of blocking

Analytical and performance cookies

Google Analytics

Targeted advertising cookies


The following types of cookies may be used on our websites:

Mandatory cookies

Functional cookies

Social media and advertising cookies

These cookies are needed to ensure the proper functioning of the site and cannot be disabled. They help ensure a secure connection and the basic availability of our website.

These cookies allow us to analyse site use in order to measure and optimise performance. They allow us to store your sign-in information and display the different components of our website in a more coherent way.

These cookies are used by advertising agencies such as Google and by social media sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook. Among other things, they allow pages to be shared on social media, the posting of comments, and the publication (on our site or elsewhere) of ads that reflect your centres of interest.

Our EZPublish content management system (CMS) uses CAS and PHP session cookies and the New Relic cookie for monitoring purposes (IP, response times).

These cookies are deleted at the end of the browsing session (when you log off or close your browser window)

Our EZPublish content management system (CMS) uses the XiTi cookie to measure traffic. Our service provider is AT Internet. This company stores data (IPs, date and time of access, length of the visit and pages viewed) for six months.

Our EZPublish content management system (CMS) does not use this type of cookie.

For more information about the cookies we use, contact INRA’s Data Protection Officer by email at or by post at:

24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

Menu Logo Principal

Home page

Implication of mitochondria in muscular biology : a key role during early development, growth and muscular atrophy.

INRA Prod. Anim., 19(4), 245-263.


1 INRA, Direction Scientifique Adjointe Animale et Produits Animaux, F-35590 Saint-Gilles
2 INRA, Agrocampus, UMR1079 Systèmes d’élevage, Nutrition animale et humaine, F-35590 Saint-Gilles, France
3 INRA, UR1213 Herbivores, F-63122 Saint-Genès Champanelle, France
4 INRA, IFREMER, Université Bordeaux, UMR1067 Nutrition Aquaculture et Génomique, F-64310 Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle, France
5 INRA, Université Clermont I, UMR1019 Nutrition Humaine, F-63122 Saint-Genès Champanelle, France
6 INRA, ENSAM, Université Montpellier 2,UMR 866 Différenciation Cellulaire et Croissance, 2 place Pierre Viala, F-34060 Montpellier, France


Mitochondria are implicated in the regulation of biological process controlling development, growth and muscle properties in farm animals, as well as sarcopenia during aging in humans. Recent results obtained at INRA on these aspects are reviewed in this paper.

First, the relationship between oxidative metabolism, mitochondria density and muscle contractile type is confirmed, and the specificity of mitochondria properties according to myosin isotypes is demonstrated. Contribution of mitochondria to the acquisition of muscle contractile types and to myoblast differentiation, through the mitochondria-nuclear cross-talk, is described, and the key roles of c-Myc, Calcineurine and myogenin in this process is clearly established. The involvement of the direct T3 mitochondrial pathway in the regulation of mitochondrial biogenesis and activity is confirmed both in vitro and in vivo.

No clear relation is found between mitochondrial activity and the amount of intramuscular fat, a key component of meat quality. In fact, muscle lipid content appears to be more related to intra-muscular adipocyte differentiation and lipid turnover rate than to any metabolic pathway.

We also show in pigs and chickens that uncoupling proteins, UCP2, UCP3 and avUCP are differentially regulated in the muscle, but it is still difficult to conclude on their physiological roles. UCP3 and avUCP are clearly implicated in the thermogenic effect of T3 and probably play a role in the control of basal metabolism, whereas avUCP can be seen as a key metabolic sensor in the chicken because its expression is modified by cold or warm exposure and correlated to the intensity of lipid metabolism.

Finally, mitochondrial H2O2 production increases during healthy aging but has no short-term effect on muscle aging (sarcopenia). In fact, accumulation of mitochondrial DNA deletions and alteration of the expression of mitochondrial or nuclear genes are only observed in very old patients (older than 80). However, sensitivity of mitochondrial respiration to calcium clearly increases with aging, a process that could contribute to the reduction of aged muscle resistance to stress and to the development of apoptosis.

Download documents