Changes in Body Composition of Old Rats at Different Time Points After Dexamethasone Administration

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Author(s): Maire Aru, Karin Alev*, Ando Pehme, Priit Purge, Lauri Onnik, Anu Ellam, Priit Kaasik, Teet Seene.

Journal Name: Current Aging Science

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Background: Aging leads to changes in skeletal muscle quantity and quality and is accompanied with increase in body mass and fat mass, whereas fat-free mass either decreases or remains unchanged. The body composition of rodents has been an important factor for clinical trials in the laboratory. Glucocorticoids such as dexamethasone are widely used in clinical medicine, but may induce myopathy, characterized by muscle weakness, atrophy, and fatigue. In animals treated with glucocorticoids, a dose-dependent reduction of body weight has been observed. This weight loss is usually followed by muscle atrophy and a reduction of several muscle proteins, contributing to impaired muscle function. This study was designed to describe changes in body composition and BMC of 22-month-old rats during 10- and 20-day recovery period after 10-day dexamethasone administration. Methods: Data on body mass, lean body mass, fat mass and bone mineral content of the rats were obtained with dual energy X-ray absorptiometry scan. Results: Significant reduction in body mass, lean body mass, fat mass and fast-twitch muscle mass was observed after dexamethasone treatment. Body mass, fat mass and fast-twitch muscle mass stayed decreased during 20 days after terminating the hormone administration; lean body mass reached the preadministration level after 20-day recovery period. There were no significant changes in bone mineral density during the recovery period. Dexamethasone treatment gradually reduced hindlimb grip strength that also stayed decreased during the 20-day recovery period. Conclusion: This study demonstrated that a 10-day period of overexprosure to glycocorticoids induced longlasting changes in old rats’ body composition and these values did not attain the baseline level even after 20-day recovery period.

Keywords: Old rats, dexamethasone administration, body composition, skeletal muscle, recovery.

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(E-pub Ahead of Print)
DOI: 10.2174/1874609812666190114144238
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