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Keywords:

  • atrophy;
  • autophagy;
  • remodeling;
  • skeletal muscle;
  • stroke

Abstract

Introduction:

Upper motor neuron lesions after stroke are a major cause of disability. We aimed to determine whether skeletal muscles from these patients display typical molecular signatures of inflammation, growth arrest, and atrophy.

Methods:

Muscle biopsies were analyzed for morphological, histochemical, ultrastructural, and molecular features indicative of changes in gene expression involved in muscle atrophy.

Results:

Chronic hemiplegia resulted in ∽9.5% atrophy, fiber type shifts, and histochemical and ultrastructural signs of impaired remodeling. TNF and TWEAK expressions were unaltered, but MSTN mRNA was lower (−73%, P < 0.05) in paretic tibialis anterior vs. age-matched controls. The expression of autophagy-related genes (BCN-1, LC3, and GABARAPL1) was lower in paretic tibialis anterior (−81%, −48%, and −60%, respectively, P < 0.01) and soleus (−85%, −54%, and −60% respectively, P < 0.01) compared with old controls.

Conclusions:

Persistent atrophy in chronic spastic hemiplegia may be associated with impaired remodeling partly due to altered autophagy gene expression. Muscle Nerve, 2012