Certain aspects of lipid metabolism have been examined in denervated muscle from normal mice and in dystrophic muscle from mice of the Bar Harbor strain 129. A number of parameters show no change or similar changes. For example, the utilization of palmitate-[1-14C] and palmitylcarnitine by mitochondria from denervated and dystrophic hind leg skeletal muscle showed parallel decreased in the oxidation of palmitate (30-42%) and palmitylcarnite (37-66%). A comparable study with acetylcarnitine showed a striking difference with no change evident in mitochondria from denervated muscle and 80-85% decrease in dystrophic muscle. The study of succinate dehydrogenase and the enzymes of beta-oxidation in the above mitochondrial preparation showed similar findings except for acyl CoA dehydrogenase activity (an enzyme with a regulatory role in beta-oxidation) which was significantly diminished (29%) in denervated muscle, whereas no change was observed in dystrophic muscle. The findings show a close parallel in a number of parameters but distinct differences were observed in denervated as compared with dystrophic muscle. It is unlikely that the muscular disorder in murine muscular dystrophy can be explained solely on the basis of denervation or the loss of a neural trophic factor.
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