Changes in inflammatory and oxidative stress factors and the protein synthesis pathway in injured skeletal muscle after contusion
- Xiaoguang Liu
- Zhigang Zeng
- Linlin Zhao
- Weihua Xiao
- Peijie Chen
Published online on: December 13, 2017
Injury of skeletal muscle, and particularly mechanically‑induced damage, including contusion injury, frequently occurs in contact sports as well as in sports with accidental contact. Although the mechanisms of skeletal muscle regeneration are well understood, those involved in muscle contusion are not. A total of 40 male mice were randomly divided into control (n=8) and muscle contusion (n=32) groups. A muscle contusion model was established by weight‑drop injury. Subsequently, the gastrocnemius muscles in the two groups were harvested at different times (1, 3, 7 and 14 days) post‑injury. The changes in skeletal muscle morphology were assessed by hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stains. Furthermore, quantitative polymerase chain reaction and western blotting were used to analyze inflammatory cytokines, oxidative stress factors and the Akt/mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway. The results revealed that pro‑inflammatory cytokines [tumor necrosis factor‑α (TNF‑α), interleukin‑6 (IL‑6) and interferon‑γ (IFN‑γ)] increased significantly at day 1 and 3 and still exhibited high levels of expression at days 7 and 14 (except IL‑6) post‑injury. Additionally, the anti‑inflammatory cytokine IL‑10 increased significantly at 1, 3 and 7 days and reached its peak levels at 7 days post‑injury. It was revealed that gp91phox mRNA increased significantly at all time points and gp91phox protein increased significantly at day 3 post‑injury. Furthermore, it was observed that p‑Akt/Akt increased significantly at 1 day post‑injury. P‑mTOR/mTOR increased significantly at day 1 and 7, and p‑p70s6k/p70s6k and P‑4EBP1/4EBP1 increased significantly at 1, 3, 7 and 14 days post‑injury. These results indicate that inflammatory and oxidative stress factors and the Akt/mTOR pathway may serve important roles in the regeneration of muscle contusion. In addition, certain inflammatory factors and oxidative stress factors maintained high levels of expression at 14 days after injury, indicating that the healing process of muscle was still not fully achieved at this time.