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J Neurol Sci. 1996 Aug;139(2):180-6.

Extraocular, limb and diaphragm muscle group-specific antioxidant enzyme activity patterns in control and mdx mice.

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Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of Kentucky Medical Center 40536-0084, USA.


The mechanisms primarily responsible for the degenerative processes occurring in dystrophic skeletal muscle remain unresolved. The identification of the mechanisms that lead to the complete sparing of extraocular muscle in dystrophinopathies is of particular interest. A number of studies have provided evidence to suggest that the muscle pathology that characterizes muscular dystrophy may be, in part, free radical mediated. In the present study, we examined the antioxidant enzyme status of extraocular, diaphragm and gastrocnemius muscles in control strain and mdx mice. Our results revealed that in the control strain, both extraocular and diaphragm muscles had higher copper/zinc superoxide dismutase, manganese superoxide dismutase and selenium dependent glutathione peroxidase activities as compared to the gastrocnemius. Furthermore, the diaphragm had higher glutathione reductase activity as compared to the gastrocnemius. These findings indicate that the highly aerobic extraocular and diaphragm muscles have higher antioxidant enzyme capacity than the gastrocnemius, a muscle more dependent on anaerobic energy metabolism. Changes in the antioxidant enzyme status of the mdx mouse correlated, in part, with the degree of histopathological involvement of the three muscle groups assessed.

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