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J Muscle Res Cell Motil. 1993 Aug;14(4):446-51.

Increased susceptibility of EDL muscles from mdx mice to damage induced by contractions with stretch.

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Département de Physiologie, Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium.


Absence of dystrophin in mdx muscles may render the muscle more susceptible to damage when submitted to high stress levels. To test this, typically slow (soleus) and fast (EDL) limb muscles of dystrophic (mdx) and normal (C57BL/10) mice were submitted (in vitro) to a series of isometric contractions, followed by a series of contractions with stretches. Muscle injury was assessed by monitoring the force signal. Membrane damage was evaluated by bathing the muscle in Procion Red, a dye that does not penetrate intact fibres, and subsequent analysis by light microscopy. After isometric contractions, only a very small force drop (< 3% of maximal isometric force) was observed which indicated that no injury had occurred in soleus and EDL muscles in either mdx or C57 strains. After contractions with a stretch, a force drop of 10% was observed in soleus muscles from both strains and in EDL muscles from C57 mice. However, in mdx mice EDL muscles displayed an irreversible force drop of 40-60%. Histological analysis of the muscles indicates that force drop is associated with membrane damage. These results show that EDL muscles from mdx mice are more vulnerable than their controls, supporting the structural role hypothesis for dystrophin. Furthermore, they suggest that contractions with stretches may contribute to the muscle damage and degeneration observed in DMD-patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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