There is evidence in rodents to suggest that theacrine-based supplements modulate tissue sirtuin activity as well as other biological processes associated with aging. Herein, we examined if a theacrine-based supplement (termed NAD3) altered sirtuin activity in vitro while also affecting markers of mitochondrial biogenesis. The murine C2C12 myoblast cell line was used for experimentation. Following 7 days of differentiation, myotubes were treated with 0.45 mg/mL of NAD3 (containing ~2 mM theacrine) for 3 and 24 h (n = 6 treatment wells per time point). Relative to control (CTL)-treated cells, NAD3 treatments increased (p < 0.05) Sirt1 mRNA levels at 3 h, as well as global sirtuin activity at 3 and 24 h. Follow-up experiments comparing 24 h NAD3 or CTL treatments indicated that NAD3 increased nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) and SIRT1 protein levels (p < 0.05). Cellular nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) levels were also elevated nearly two-fold after 24 h of NAD3 versus CTL treatments (p < 0.001). Markers of mitochondrial biogenesis were minimally affected. Although these data are limited to select biomarkers in vitro, these preliminary findings suggest that a theacrine-based supplement can modulate select biomarkers related to NAD+ biogenesis and sirtuin activity. However, these changes did not drive increases in mitochondrial biogenesis. While promising, these data are limited to a rodent cell line and human muscle biopsy studies are needed to validate and elucidate the significance of these findings.
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Mumford, Petey W.; Osburn, Shelby C.; Fox, Carlton D.; Godwin, Joshua S.; and Roberts, Michael D., "A Theacrine-Based Supplement Increases Cellular NAD+ Levels and Affects Biomarkers Related to Sirtuin Activity in C2C12 Muscle Cells In Vitro" (2020). Faculty Scholarship. 37.