Myofibrillar function differs markedly between denervated and dexamethasone-treated rat skeletal muscles: Role of mechanical load

Autoři: Takashi Yamada aff001;  Yuki Ashida aff001;  Daisuke Tatebayashi aff001;  Koichi Himori aff001
Působiště autorů: Graduate School of Health Sciences, Sapporo Medical University, Sapporo, Japan aff001;  Research Fellow of Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Tokyo, Japan aff002
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(10)
Kategorie: Research Article


Although there is good evidence to indicate a major role of intrinsic impairment of the contractile apparatus in muscle weakness seen in several pathophysiological conditions, the factors responsible for control of myofibrillar function are not fully understood. To investigate the role of mechanical load in myofibrillar function, we compared the skinned fiber force between denervated (DEN) and dexamethasone-treated (DEX) rat skeletal muscles with or without neuromuscular electrical stimulation (ES) training. DEN and DEX were induced by cutting the sciatic nerve and daily injection of dexamethasone (5 mg/kg/day) for 7 days, respectively. For ES training, plantarflexor muscles were electrically stimulated to produce four sets of five isometric contractions each day. In situ maximum torque was markedly depressed in the DEN muscles compared to the DEX muscles (-74% vs. -10%), whereas there was not much difference in the degree of atrophy in gastrocnemius muscles between DEN and DEX groups (-24% vs. -17%). Similar results were obtained in the skinned fiber preparation, with a greater reduction in maximum Ca2+-activated force in the DEN than in the DEX group (-53% vs. -16%). Moreover, there was a parallel decline in myosin heavy chain (MyHC) and actin content per muscle volume in DEN muscles, but not in DEX muscles, which was associated with upregulation of NADPH oxidase (NOX) 2, neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS), and endothelial NOS expression, translocation of nNOS from the membrane to the cytosol, and augmentation of mRNA levels of muscle RING finger protein 1 (MuRF-1) and atrogin-1. Importantly, mechanical load evoked by ES protects against DEN- and DEX-induced myofibrillar dysfunction and these molecular alterations. Our findings provide novel insights regarding the difference in intrinsic contractile properties between DEN and DEX and suggest an important role of mechanical load in preserving myofibrillar function in skeletal muscle.

Klíčová slova:

Actins – Atrophy – Functional electrical stimulation – Gene expression – Myosins – Skeletal muscles – Torque – Muscle proteins


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