Soleus muscle force following downhill running in ovariectomized rats treated with estrogen

Sotiriadou, Sofia; Kyparos, Antonios; Albani, Maria; Arsos, Georgios; Clarke, Mark S.F.; Sidiras, Georgios; Angelopoulou, Nikoletta; Matziari, Chrysoula
August 2006
Applied Physiology, Nutrition & Metabolism;Aug2006, Vol. 31 Issue 4, p449
Academic Journal
The ovariectomized (OVX) rat model was used to investigate the effects of estrogen treatment on soleus muscle functionality in situ following muscle injury induced by downhill running. Fifty immature, 24- to 26-d-old, OVX rats were randomly assigned to 5 separate experimental groups: sedentary controls (OVX-Sed), placebo-treated and studied immediately after exercise (OVX-Pb0), placebo-treated and studied 72 h after exercise (OVX-Pb72), estradiol-treated and studied immediately after exercise (OVX-Ed0), and estradiol-treated and studied 72 h after exercise (OVX-Ed72). At the age of 9 weeks, under ketamine and xylazine anesthesia i.p., the rats were subcutaneously implanted with either placebo or 17β-estradiol-impregnated pellets (0.05 mg/pellet, 3 week release). Treatment with 17β-estradiol increased the estradiol plasma levels in OVX animals to those normally seen during the proestrous cycle of normal animals. Three weeks after the implantation the rats were subjected to a 90 min intermittent downhill running protocol. Our results indicate that the exercise protocol used in the study induced injury in the soleus muscle, as it was detected by the significant reduction in unfused (stimulation at 10, 20, and 40 Hz) and maximal (Po) tetanic force, as well as the decreased ability of the soleus muscle to maintain tension (stimulation at 40 Hz for 3 min) in OVX-Pb0 and OVX-Pb72 placebo-treated animals subjected to downhill running (injured muscles) as compared with OVX-Sed control rats (uninjured muscle). Estradiol replacement in OVX rats partially protected the soleus muscle from the injury normally induced by downhill running. As compared with the OVX-Pb0 and OVX-Pb72 placebo-treated groups, the soleus muscles of OVX-Ed0 and OVX-Ed72 estradiol-treated rats were capable of producing significantly greater unfused tetanic force and had an increased ability to maintain tension after fatigue. However, estrogen at the dose administered did not prevent the decrease in maximal tetanic force. We postulate that the protective effect of estrogens on muscle strength may be related to the ability of estrogen hormones to attenuate the E–C coupling failure and (or) the disorganization of the contractile apparatus associated with eccentric exercise through a mechanism or mechanisms yet to be fully understood.


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