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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2000 Feb;81(2):157-63.

Myosin heavy chain isoform and ubiquitin protease mRNA expression after passive leg cycling in persons with spinal cord injury.

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Department of Kinesiology, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth 76129, USA.



To determine the effects of passive leg cycling exercise on myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoform and ubiquitin (UBI) protease mRNA expression in patients with spinal cord injury (SCI).


Case series.


Eight SCI subjects (5 men, 3 women) participated in a 12-week exercise program involving the Psycle ergometer. Training occurred 2 days a week at 75% of each subject's maximum heart rate. Anthropometric measures (body weight, thigh girth, and body mass index) and muscle biopsy specimens were obtained before and after training. Analyses were performed to determine the mRNA expression of types I, IIa, and IIx MHC, as well as UBI, a UBI-conjugating enzyme (E2), and 20S proteasome (20S).


Despite small increases, paired t tests (p < .05) to assess changes from pretraining to posttraining failed to locate significant differences for the three anthropometric measures. For mRNA expression, there were significant increases in expression of MHC types IIa and IIx and significant decreases in expression for UBI, E2, and 20S.


Exercise using passive leg cycling increases the expression of fast MHC isoforms while concomitantly decreasing proteolytic activity associated with muscle degradation, thus helping to possibly ameliorate muscle atrophy in patients with SCI.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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