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J Mol Cell Cardiol. 1997 Nov;29(11):2989-96.

Cardiomyoplasty - improvement of muscle fibre type transformation by an anabolic steroid (metenolone).

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Carl-Ludwig-Institute of Physiology, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.


Dynamic cardiomyoplasty, a method to support ventricular function by the chronically stimulated latissimus dorsi muscle wrapped around the heart is accompanied by a loss of mass and force of the transplanted muscle. These effects and the fast-to-slow transformation of the muscle could be possibly influenced by the additional administration of anabolic steroids. In this study, the left latissimus dorsi muscles of 12 sheep were electrically conditioned (group A). In 12 other animals (group B), stimulation was combined with the administration of metenolone (100 mg/week). Biopsies were taken from the right and left muscles at the beginning and after 6 and 12 weeks of treatment, frozen and cross-sectioned. The muscle fibre type composition was studied enzymhistochemically (SDH-staining and Myosin-ATPase-reaction) and immunocytochemically (using antibodies against different myosin heavy chains, MHC). Furthermore, the expression of different MHC isoforms was investigated electrophoretically. The untreated latissimus dorsi muscle contains 20% type I fibres expressing slow MHC and 80% type II fibres expressing fast MHC. After 6 weeks, the respective fibre type composition was 42 and 58% (group A) and 80 and 20% (group B). After 12 weeks, the percentage of the type I fibres rose in group A to 59% and in group B to 98%. In accordance with these morphological results, the MHC pattern determined electrophoretically showed a corresponding shift from the fast to the slow isoform. Therefore, the administration of metenolone avoids severe muscle atrophy, and improves and accelerates fast to slow fibre type conversion necessary for successful cardiomyoplasty.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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