Severe burn results in muscle wasting affecting quality of life in both children and adults. Biologic metabolic profiles are noticeably distinctive in childhood. We posit that muscle gene expression profiles are differentially regulated in response to severe burns in young animals. Twelve C57BL6 male mice, including young (5 weeks-old) and adults (11 weeks-old), received either scald burn, or sham procedure. Mouse muscle tissue was harvested 24 h later for Next Generation Sequence analysis. Our results showed 662 downregulated and 450 upregulated genes in gastrocnemius of young mice compared to adults without injury. After injury, we found 74/75 downregulated genes and 107/128 upregulated genes in both burned groups compared to respective uninjured age groups. VEGFA-VEGFR2, focal adhesion, and nuclear receptor meta-pathways were the top 3 gene pathways undergoing a differential change in response to age. Of note, the proteasome degradation pathway showed the most similar changes in both adult and young burned animals. This study demonstrates the characteristic profile of gene expression in skeletal muscle in young and adult burned mice. Prominent age effects were revealed in transcriptional levels with increased alterations of genes, miRNAs, pathways, and interactions.
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