Effects of long-term denervation on skeletal muscle in old rats

Bruce M. Carlson, Andrei B. Borisov, Eduard I. Dedkov, Abdelnaby Khalyfa, Tatiana Y. Kostrominova, Peter C.D. Macpherson, Eugenia Wang, John A. Faulkner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


We compared the reactions to denervation of limb muscles between young adult and old rats. After denervation for up to 4 months in 24-month-old rats, limb muscles were removed and analyzed for contractile properties, morphology, and levels of several key molecules, including the peptide elongation factors eEF1A-1 and eEF1A-2/S1, myogenin, γ-subunit of the acetylcholine receptor, and cyclin D3. The principal difference between denervated old and young muscle is a somewhat slower rate of atrophy in denervated older muscle, especially among the type II fibers. Expression levels of certain molecules were higher in old than in young control muscle, but after denervation, levels of these molecules increased to the same absolute values in both young and old rats. Although many aspects of postdenervation reactions do not differ greatly between young and old animals, the lesser degree of atrophy in the old rats may reflect significant age-based mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)B366-B374
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2002
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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