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Skelet Muscle. 2015 Jul 9;5:20. doi: 10.1186/s13395-015-0045-7. eCollection 2015.

Muscle dysfunction associated with adjuvant-induced arthritis is prevented by antioxidant treatment.

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Graduate School of Health Sciences, Sapporo Medical University, South 1 West 17, Chuo-ku, 060-8556, Sapporo Japan.
Faculty of Food Culture, Kurashiki Sakuyo University, 3515 Nagao-Tamashima, Kurashiki, Japan.
Graduate School of Integrated Arts and Sciences, Hiroshima University, 1-7-1, Higashi, Hiroshima Japan.
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Karolinska Institutet, SE-17177 Stockholm, Sweden.



In addition to the primary symptoms arising from inflamed joints, muscle weakness is prominent and frequent in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Here, we investigated the mechanisms of arthritis-induced muscle dysfunction in rats with adjuvant-induced arthritis (AIA).


AIA was induced in the knees of rats by injection of complete Freund's adjuvant and was allowed to develop for 21 days. Muscle contractile function was assessed in isolated extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscles. To assess mechanisms underlying contractile dysfunction, we measured redox modifications, redox enzymes and inflammatory mediators, and activity of actomyosin ATPase and sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca(2+)-ATPase.


EDL muscles from AIA rats showed decreased tetanic force per cross-sectional area and slowed twitch contraction and relaxation. These contractile dysfunctions in AIA muscles were accompanied by marked decreases in actomyosin ATPase and SR Ca(2+)-ATPase activities. Actin aggregates were observed in AIA muscles, and these contained high levels of 3-nitrotyrosine and malondialdehyde-protein adducts. AIA muscles showed increased protein expression of NADPH oxidase 2/gp91(phox), neuronal nitric oxide synthase, tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), and high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1). Treatment of AIA rats with EUK-134 (3 mg/kg/day), a superoxide dismutase/catalase mimetic, prevented both the decrease in tetanic force and the formation of actin aggregates in EDL muscles without having any beneficial effect on the arthritis development.


Antioxidant treatment prevented the development of oxidant-induced actin aggregates and contractile dysfunction in the skeletal muscle of AIA rats. This implies that antioxidant treatment can be used to effectively counteract muscle weakness in inflammatory conditions.


Aggregation; Antioxidant; Muscle weakness; Rheumatoid arthritis

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