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Int J Mol Med. 2015 Jul;36(1):29-42. doi: 10.3892/ijmm.2015.2200. Epub 2015 May 4.

The administration of Fructus Schisandrae attenuates dexamethasone-induced muscle atrophy in mice.

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Research Institute, Bio-Port Korea INC, Marine Bio-industry Development Center, Busan 619-912, Republic of Korea.
Department of Anatomy and Histology, College of Korean Medicine, Daegu Haany University, Gyeongsan 712‑715, Republic of Korea.
Department of Biochemistry, Dongeui University College of Korean Medicine, Busan 614-052, Republic of Korea.
Laboratory of Immunobiology, Department of Marine Life Sciences, Jeju National University, Jeju 690-756, Republic of Korea.
Anti-Aging Research Center and Blue-Bio Industry RIC, Dongeui University, Busan 614-714, Republic of Korea.
Department of Biochemistry, Busan National University College of Medicine, Yangsan 626-870, Republic of Korea.


In the present study, we aimed to determine whether ethanol extracts of Fructus Schisandrae (FS), the dried fruit of Schizandra chinensis Baillon, mitigates the development of dexamethasone-induced muscle atrophy. Adult SPF/VAT outbred CrljOri:CD1 (ICR) mice were either treated with dexamethasone to induce muscle atrophy. Some mice were treated with various concentrations of FS or oxymetholone, a 17α-alkylated anabolic-androgenic steroid. Muscle thickness and weight, calf muscle strength, and serum creatine and creatine kinase (CK) levels were then measured. The administration of FS attenuated the decrease in calf thickness, gastrocnemius muscle thickness, muscle strength and weight, fiber diameter and serum lactate dehydrogenase levels in the gastrocnemius muscle bundles which was induced by dexamethasone in a dose-dependent manner. Treatment with FS also prevented the dexamethasone-induced increase in serum creatine and creatine kinase levels, histopathological muscle fiber microvacuolation and fibrosis, and the immunoreactivity of muscle fibers for nitrotyrosine, 4-hydroxynonenal, inducible nitric oxide synthase and myostatin. In addition, the destruction of the gastrocnemius antioxidant defense system was also inhibited by the administration of FS in a dose-dependent manner. FS downregulated the mRNA expression of atrogin-1 and muscle ring-finger protein-1 (involved in muscle protein degradation), myostatin (a potent negative regulator of muscle growth) and sirtuin 1 (a representative inhibitor of muscle regeneration), but upregulated the mRNA expression of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, Akt1, adenosine A1 receptor and transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 4, involved in muscle growth and the activation of protein synthesis. The overall effects of treatment with 500 mg/kg FS were comparable to those observed following treatment with 50 mg/kg oxymetholone. The results from the present study support the hypothesis that FS has a favorable ameliorating effect on muscle atrophy induced by dexamethasone, by exerting anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects on muscle fibers, which may be due to an increase in protein synthesis and a decrease in protein degradation.

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