Electrical stimulation increases matrix metalloproteinase-2 gene expression but does not change its activity in denervated rat muscle.
ABSTRACT Muscle-fiber atrophy occurs concomitantly with intramuscular connective tissue proliferation following denervation. These events contribute to the impairment of mechanical and functional properties of denervated muscles and compromise their recovery. Electrical stimulation (ES) is used in human rehabilitation to treat denervated muscles. However, the effects of this therapy on the intramuscular extracellular matrix (ECM) remain uncertain. Metalloproteinases (MMPs) are responsible by remodeling ECM in many neuromuscular disorders. This study evaluates the effect of ES on the activity of two important MMPs, MMP-2 and MMP-9, both involved in ECM remodeling of rat denervated muscles. Thirty-four Wistar rats (3 months old, 356 +/- 38.7 g) were divided into five groups: denervated (D); D+ES; sham denervation; normal (N); and N+ES. Twenty maximal muscle contractions were stimulated every 48 h using surface electrodes, as generally used in the rehabilitation of human denervated muscle. Both zymographic analysis and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of MMPs were used to evaluate muscle after denervation for 28 days. Both the D and D+ES groups showed increased MMP-2 activity compared with the N group (P < 0.05). Furthermore, only the D+ES had increased MMP-2 gene expression compared with the N group (P < 0.05). MMP-9 activity was not detected in any of the groups. The results of this study indicate that denervation increases MMP-2 activity, and ES regulates MMP-2 gene expression in rat denervated skeletal muscle. These findings clarify the effects of ES on the ECM of denervated muscle and may be helpful in designing new therapeutic strategies for rehabilitation in patients with denervation of muscle.
Article: Effects of 660 and 780 nm low-level laser therapy on neuromuscular recovery after crush injury in rat sciatic nerve.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Post-traumatic nerve repair is still a challenge for rehabilitation. It is particularly important to develop clinical protocols to enhance nerve regeneration. The present study investigated the effects of 660 and 780 nm low-level laser therapy (LLLT) using different energy densities (10, 60, and 120 J/cm²) on neuromuscular and functional recovery as well as on matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity after crush injury in rat sciatic nerve. Rats received transcutaneous LLLT irradiation at the lesion site for 10 consecutive days post-injury and were sacrificed 28 days after injury. Both the sciatic nerve and tibialis anterior muscles were analyzed. Nerve analyses consisted of histology (light microscopy) and measurements of myelin, axon, and nerve fiber cross-sectional area (CSA). S-100 labeling was used to identify myelin sheath and Schwann cells. Muscle fiber CSA and zymography were carried out to assess the degree of muscle atrophy and MMP activity, respectively. Statistical significance was set at 5% (P≤0.05). Six hundred sixty nanometer LLLT either using 10 or 60 J/cm² restored muscle fiber, myelin and nerve fiber CSA compared to the normal group (N). Furthermore, it increased MMP-2 activity in nerve and decreased MMP-2 activity in muscle and MMP-9 activity in nerve. In contrast, 780 nm LLLT using 10 J/cm² decreased MMP-9 activity in nerve compared to the crush group (CR) and N; it also restored normal levels of myelin and nerve fiber CSA. Both 60 and 120 J/cm² decreased MMP-2 activity in muscle compared to CR and N. 780 nm did not prevent muscle fiber atrophy. Functional recovery in the irradiated groups did not differ from the non-irradiated CR. Data suggest that 660 nm LLLT with low (10 J/cm²) or moderate (60 J/cm²) energy densities is able to accelerate neuromuscular recovery after nerve crush injury in rats.Lasers in Surgery and Medicine 11/2010; 42(9):673-82. · 2.75 Impact Factor