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Physiol Res. 2015;64(6):897-905. Epub 2015 Jun 5.

Heat treatment inhibits skeletal muscle atrophy of glucocorticoid-induced myopathy in rats.

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Department of Locomotive Rehabilitation Science, Unit of Rehabilitation Sciences, Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Nagasaki, Japan.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of heat treatment on glucocorticoid (GC)-induced myopathy. Eight-week-old Wistar rats were randomly assigned to the control, Dex, and Dex + Heat groups. Dexamethasone (2 mg/kg) was injected subcutaneously 6 days per week for 2 weeks in the Dex and Dex + Heat group. In the Dex + Heat group, heat treatment was performed by immersing hindlimbs in water at 42 °C for 60 min, once every 3 days for 2 weeks. The extensor digitorum longus muscle was extracted following 2 weeks of experimentation. In the Dex + Heat group, muscle fiber diameter, capillary/muscle fiber ratio, and level of heat shock protein 72 were significantly higher and atrogene expression levels were significantly lower than in the Dex group. Our results suggest that heat treatment inhibits the development of GC-induced myopathy by decreasing atrogene expression and increasing angiogenesis.

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