Increased poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation in skeletal muscle tissue of pediatric patients with severe burn injury: Prevention by propranolol treatment

Gábor Oláh, Celeste C. Finnerty, Elena Sbrana, Itoro Elijah, Domokos Gerö, David N. Herndon, Csaba Szabó

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Activation of the nuclear enzyme poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) has been shown to promote cellular energetic collapse and cellular necrosis in various forms of critical illness. Most of the evidence implicating the PARP pathway in disease processes is derived from preclinical studies. With respect to PARP and burns, studies in rodent and large animal models of burn injury have demonstrated the activation of PARP in various tissues and the beneficial effect of its pharmacological inhibition. The aims of the current study were to measure the activation of PARP in human skeletal muscle biopsies at various stages of severe pediatric burn injury and to identify the cell types where this activation may occur. Another aim of the study was to test the effect of propranolol (an effective treatment of patients with burns) on the activation of PARP in skeletal muscle biopsies. Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase activation was measured by Western blotting for its product, poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR). The localization of PARP activation was determined by PAR immunohistochemistry. The results showed that PARP becomes activated in the skeletal muscle tissue after burns, with the peak of the activation occurring in the middle stage of the disease (13-18 days after burns). Even at the late stage of the disease (69-369 days after burn), an elevated degree of PARP activation persisted in some of the patients. Immunohistochemical studies localized the staining of PAR primarily to vascular endothelial cells and occasionally to resident mononuclear cells. There was a marked suppression of PARP activation in the skeletal muscle biopsies of patients who received propranolol treatment. We conclude that human burn injury is associated with the activation of PARP. We hypothesize that this response may contribute to the inflammatory responses and cell dysfunction in burns. Some of the clinical benefit of propranolol in burns may be related to its inhibitory effect on PARP activation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-23
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2011


  • Nitric oxide
  • burns
  • contraction
  • endothelial cell
  • inflammation
  • peroxynitrite
  • poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase
  • superoxide
  • vascular

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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