Aging and Regenerative Capacity of Skeletal Muscle in Rats
The objective of the study was to examine skeletal muscle regeneration capacity of young and very old rats
during autotransplantation. In 3.5 and 30 month-old Wistar rats, gastrocnemius muscle was removed and grafted back to
its original bed. Incorporation of 3H leucine into myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic protein fractions, their relative contents in
autografts and synthesis rate of MyHC and actin were recorded. The relative muscle mass of old rats was about 67% of
that of young rats; the absolute mass of autografted muscle was 61% intact in the young rat group and 51% in the old rat
group. Content of myofibrillar protein in the autografts of young rats was 46% of the intact muscle content, and 39% in
the old rat group.
In conclusion, the difference in skeletal muscle regeneration capacity of young and very old rats is about ten percent. In
the autografts of both young and old rats, the regeneration of the contractile apparatus is less effective in comparison with
the sarcoplasmic compartment.
Keywords: Aging, contractile apparatus, regeneration, skeletal muscle, regeneration, myofibrillar protein, sarcoplasmic compartment, autografted muscle
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