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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2007 Aug;103(2):464-73. Epub 2007 Apr 19.

Temporal differences in the influence of ischemic factors and deformation on the metabolism of engineered skeletal muscle.

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  • 1Dept. of Biomedical Engineering, Eindhoven Univ. of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.


Prolonged periods of tissue compression may lead to the development of pressure ulcers, some of which may originate in, for example, skeletal muscle tissue and progress underneath intact skin, representing deep tissue injury. Their etiology is multifactorial and the interaction between individual causal factors and their relative importance remain unknown. The present study addressed the relative contributions of deformation and ischemic factors to altered metabolism and viability. Engineered muscle tissue was prepared as previously detailed (14) and subjected to a combination of factors including 0% oxygen, lactic acid concentrations resulting in pH from 5.3 to 7.4, 34% compression, and low glucose levels. Deformation had an immediate effect on tissue viability {[3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide] (MTT) assay}, which increased with time. By contrast, hypoxia evoked metabolic responses (glucose and lactate levels) within 24 h, but viability was only reduced after 48 h. In addition, lactic acidification downregulated tissue metabolism up to an acid concentration ( approximately 23 mM) where metabolism was arrested and cell death enhanced. A similar tissue response was observed during glucose deprivation, which, at negligible concentration, resulted in both a cessation of metabolic activity and a reduction in cell viability. The combination of results suggests that in a short-term (<24 h) deformation, extreme acidification and glucose deprivation increased the level of cell death. By contrast, nonextreme acidification and hypoxia influenced tissue metabolism, but not the development of cell death. These data provide more insight into how compression-induced factors can lead to the onset of deep tissue injury.

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