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Mechanical loading of tissue engineered skeletal muscle prevents dexamethasone induced myotube atrophy

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posted on 13.08.2021, 12:55 by Kathryn Aguilar-Agon, Andrew CapelAndrew Capel, Jacob Fleming, Darren J. Player, Neil MartinNeil Martin, Mark LewisMark Lewis
Skeletal muscle atrophy as a consequence of acute and chronic illness, immobilisation, muscular dystrophies and aging, leads to severe muscle weakness, inactivity and increased mortality. Mechanical loading is thought to be the primary driver for skeletal muscle hypertrophy, however the extent to which mechanical loading can offset muscle catabolism has not been thoroughly explored. In vitro 3D-models of skeletal muscle provide a controllable, high throughput environment and mitigating many of the ethical and methodological constraints present during in vivo experimentation. This work aimed to determine if mechanical loading would offset dexamethasone (DEX) induced skeletal muscle atrophy, in muscle engineered using the C2C12 murine cell line. Mechanical loading successfully offset myotube atrophy and functional degeneration associated with DEX regardless of whether the loading occurred before or after 24 h of DEX treatment. Furthermore, mechanical load prevented increases in MuRF-1 and MAFbx mRNA expression, critical regulators of muscle atrophy. Overall, we demonstrate the application of tissue engineered muscle to study skeletal muscle health and disease, offering great potential for future use to better understand treatment modalities for skeletal muscle atrophy.


Towards Bespoke Bio-Hybrid Prosthesis - Manufacturing bio-inductive interfaces in 3D

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

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  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

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Journal of Muscle Research and Cell Motility






Springer (part of Springer Nature)


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Dr Andrew Capel. Deposit date: 16 October 2020