Severe burn increased skeletal muscle loss in mdx mutant mice

Melody R. Saeman, Kevin Despain, Ming Mei Liu, Steven E. Wolf, Juquan Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background Severe burn causes muscle mass loss and atrophy. The balance between muscle cell death and growth maintains tissue homeostasis. We hypothesize that preexisting cellular structural defects will exacerbate skeletal muscle mass loss after burn. Using a Duchenne muscular dystrophy (mdx) mutant mouse, we investigated whether severe burn caused more damage in skeletal muscle with preexisting muscle disease. Methods The mdx mice and wild-type (WT) mice received 25% total body surface area scald burn. Gastrocnemius (GM), tibialis anterior, and gluteus muscles were obtained at days 1 and 3 after burn. GM muscle function was measured on day 3. Animals without burn served as controls. Results Wet tissue weight significantly decreased in tibialis anterior and gluteus in both mdx and WT mice after burn (P < 0.05). The ratio of muscle to body weight decreased in mdx mutant mice (P < 0.05) but not WT. Isometric force was significantly lower in mdx GM, and this difference persisted after burn (P < 0.05). Caspase-3 activity increased significantly after burn in both the groups, whereas HMGB1 expression was higher in burn mdx mice (P < 0.05). Proliferating cell nuclear antigen decreased significantly in mdx mice (P < 0.05). Myogenic markers pax7, myoD, and myogenin increased after burn in both the groups and were higher in mdx mice (P < 0.05). Conclusions More muscle loss occurred in response to severe burn in mdx mutant mice. Cell turnover in mdx mice after burn is differed from WT. Although markers of myogenic activation are elevated in mdx mutant mice, the underlying muscle pathophysiology is less tolerant of traumatic injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)372-379
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 15 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell death
  • Cell proliferation
  • Myogenesis
  • Preexisting muscle disease
  • Skeletal muscle
  • Thermal injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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