Exercise and clenbuterol as strategies to decrease the progression of muscular dystrophy in mdx mice

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48 Scopus citations

Abstract

The effects of exercise and the combination of exercise and clenbuterol on progression of muscular dystrophy were studied in mdx mice. At 3 wk of age, mdx mice were randomly assigned to sedentary (MS), exercise (ME), or combined exercise and clenbuterol (MEC) groups. Clenbuterol was given in the drinking water (1.0-1.5 mg · kg body weight-1 · day-1), and exercise consisted of spontaneous running activity on exercise wheels. At 3 mo or 1 yr of age, ventilatory function, contractile properties, and morphological characteristics of the soleus (Sol) and diaphragm (Dia) muscles were measured. The mdx mice receiving clenbuterol ran less than the mice without clenbuterol. The combination of clenbuterol and exercise was associated with an increase in Sol muscle weight and a muscle weight-to-body weight ratio of 30-35% compared with the sedentary group and ~20% compared to exercise alone. Myosin and total protein concentrations of the Sol and Dia increased in the MEC group at 1 yr of age only. Normalized active tension was increased in the Dia at 1 yr of age in both the ME and MEC groups by ~30%. Absolute tetanic tension of the Sol was increased at both 3 mo and 1 yr of age in the MEC compared with the MS group. At 1 yr of age, there was an additional 23% increase compared with the ME group. Fatigability increased in the MEC group by ~25% in the Sol and Dia muscles at both ages compared with the MS and ME groups. Results indicate that exercise and exercise plus clenbuterol decrease the progression of muscular dystrophy. However, different mechanisms may be involved because the combination of clenbuterol and exercise resulted in increased fatigability and the development of deformities, whereas exercise alone did not. Therefore, clenbuterol may not be suitable for use in patients with muscular dystrophy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)734-741
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Volume80
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1996

Keywords

  • diaphragm
  • skeletal muscle
  • ventilation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine

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