[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Antigravity muscles atrophy and weaken during prolonged mechanical unloading caused by bed rest or spaceflight. Unloading also induces oxidative stress in muscle, a putative cause of weakness. We tested the hypothesis that dietary supplementation with Bowman-Birk inhibitor concentrate (BBIC), a soy protein extract, would oppose these changes. Adult mice were fed a diet supplemented with 1% BBIC during hindlimb unloading for up to 12 days. Soleus muscles of mice fed the BBIC-supplemented diet weighed less, developed less force per cross-sectional area, and developed less total force after unloading than controls. BBIC supplementation was protective, blunting decrements in soleus muscle weight and force. Cytosolic oxidant activity was assessed using 2',7'-dichlorofluorescin diacetate. Oxidant activity increased in unloaded muscle, peaking at 3 days and remaining elevated through 12 days of unloading. Increases in oxidant activity correlated directly with loss of muscle mass and were abolished by BBIC supplementation. In vitro assays established that BBIC directly buffers reactive oxygen species and also inhibits serine protease activity. We conclude that dietary supplementation with BBIC protects skeletal muscle during prolonged unloading, promoting redox homeostasis in muscle fibers and blunting atrophy-induced weakness.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fatigue of hand and forearm muscle groups can limit task performance by astronauts wearing space suits. Countermeasures to delay fatigue would therefore be useful to the space program. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) has been shown to inhibit fatigue during other tasks so we tested its effects during handgrip exercise. Volunteers practiced isometric handgrip maneuvers until performance was reproducible over three successive sessions (baseline). Performance then was retested after ingesting NAC (150 mg.kg(-1)) or saline. Drug administration increased NAC and cysteine blood levels (P < 0.001). Performance of sustained maximal efforts was unaffected. During repetitive submaximal efforts, NAC delayed fatigue (130% baseline) and inhibited glutathione oxidation. Saline did not alter glutathione status or performance of sustained maneuvers; repetitive task performance was increased by 15% (P < 0.05), a placebo effect. These data indicate that NAC supports glutathione homeostasis in exercising humans and may delay muscle fatigue during repetitive handgrip exercise. Our findings support oxidative stress as a causal factor in human muscle fatigue and argue for larger translational studies to define NAC effects on human performance.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prolonged mechanical unloading induces skeletal muscle weakness, a major problem following extended bed rest or spaceflight. Antioxidants are reported to partially inhibit the weakness caused by limb immobilization. The current study tested allopurinol, a xanthine oxidase inhibitor with antioxidant properties, for its capacity to protect the function of unloaded antigravity muscles.
Adult mice conditioned by 12 d of hindlimb suspension, with or without allopurinol 50 mg x kg(-1) x d(-1), were compared with freely ambulating controls. Animals were anesthetized and soleus muscles were isolated for ex vivo analyses.
Relative to control muscles, unloading decreased soleus weight (-44%; p < 0.05) and cross-sectional area (-38%; p < 0.05), increased cytosolic oxidant activity (-46%; p < 0.01), decreased absolute tetanic force (e.g., -64% at 250 Hz; p < 0.001 ) and force/area (-35%; p < 0.01), and increased passive compliance of the unstimulated muscle (p < 0.05). Allopurinol administration blunted the effects of unloading, partially inhibiting losses of absolute force (p < 0.05) and force/area (p < 0.05) without affecting muscle atrophy. The drug also blunted compliance changes in the passive muscle (p < 0.05).
Allopurinol does not inhibit atrophy of skeletal muscle caused by prolonged unloading. However, allopurinol does lessen the contractile dysfunction caused by unloading, an action that may have potential benefit for astronauts and bedridden individuals.
No preview · Article · Aug 2004 · Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine