Exercise Altered the Skeletal Muscle MicroRNAs and Gene Expression Profiles in Burn Rats with Hindlimb Unloading

Juquan Song, Melody R. Saeman, Lisa A. Baer, Anthony R. Cai, Charles E. Wade, Steven E. Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


This study investigated microRNA and target gene profiles under different conditions of burn, bed rest, and exercise training. Male Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 48) were assigned to sham ambulatory, sham hindlimb unloading, burn ambulatory, or burn plus hindlimb unloading groups. Rats received a 40% TBSA scald burn or sham treatments and were ambulatory or hindlimb unloaded. Rats were further assigned to exercise or no exercise. Plantaris tissues were harvested on day 14 and pooled to analyze for microRNA and gene expression profiles. Compared with the sham ambulatory-no exercise group, 73, 79, and 80 microRNAs were altered 2-fold in the burn ambulatory, sham hindlimb unloading, and burn hindlimb unloading groups, all with no exercise, respectively. More than 70% of microRNAs were upregulated in response to burn and hindlimb unloading, whereas 60% microRNA of the profile decreased in hindlimb unloaded burn rats with exercise training. MiR-182 was the most affected in rat muscle. Gene ontology biological process and pathway analysis showed that the oxidative stress pathway was most stimulated in the hindlimb unloaded burn rats; while in response to exercise training, all genes in related pathways such as hypermetabolic, inflammation, and blood coagulation were alleviated. MicroRNAs and transcript gene profiles were altered in burn and hindlimb unloading groups, with additive effects on hindlimb unloaded burn rats. The altered genes' signal pathways were associated with muscle mass loss and function impairment. Muscle improvement with exercise training was observed in gene levels with microRNA alterations as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-19
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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