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Carbonyl levels in type I and II fiber-rich muscles and their response to chronic ethanol feeding in vivo and hydroxyl and superoxide radicals in vitro

Lookup NU author(s): Gavin Falkous, Matthew Reilly, Dr David Mantle


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Background: Chronic alcoholic myopathy is characterized by selective reductions in the size of Type II skeletal muscle fibers (i.e., glycolytic, anaerobic fast-twitch). Type I (i.e., oxidative, aerobic, slow twitch) fibers are relatively resistant. It is possible that reactive oxygen species may preferentially damage the Type II fibers because the concentrations of several antioxidant enzymes are lower in Type II compared with Type I fibers. Methods: To test the hypothesis, we measured protein carbonyl levels in Type I (i.e., soleus) and Type II (i.e., plantaris) fiber-rich muscles of rats subjected to chronic alcohol dosage with the Lieber-DeCarli regimen. Muscles were also exposed to hydroxyl or superoxide radicals in vitro. Results: The Type I fiber-predominant soleus of control animals had less carbonyl than the Type II fiber-predominant plantaris. In rats that were fed ethanol for 6 weeks, the weights of the plantaris muscle mere preferentially reduced but changes in soleus weight did not achieve significance. However, carbonyl levels were not significantly altered in any muscle in response to alcohol feeding. Calculation of the data in terms of total carbonyl per whole muscle showed decreases in both soleus and plantaris at the end of the 6-week alcohol feeding period. In response to hydroxyl radical (OH.) generation in vitro, protein carbonyl increased substantially in both soleus and plantaris muscles, but more so in the soleus. The increase in carbonyl in control soleus muscles in response to OH. was significantly lower than in soleus muscles from alcohol-fed animals. The increase in control plantaris muscle was not significantly different from the increase in carbonyl in corresponding muscles from ethanol-fed rats in response to OH.. In response to superoxide radicals, carbonyl in control soleus increased, an effect similar to that recorded in the soleus from ethanol-fed rats. In control plantaris, carbonyl increased in response to superoxide radicals, an effect not significantly different to the increase in plantaris from alcohol-fed rats. Conclusions: Using increased carbonyl concentrations as an indicator of muscle damage by reactive oxygen species, we concluded (1) there is no evidence of enhanced reactive oxygen species-induced damage to mixed muscle proteins in either Type I or Type II muscles in response to alcohol feeding; (2) Type II muscles have a greater capacity than Type I muscles to protect against damage (as indicated by carbonyl formation) by both hydroxyl and superoxide radicals in vitro; (3) alcohol reduces the capacity of Type I muscle to resist hydroxyl radical-induced protein damage, a mechanism that may arise through impairment of other antioxidant systems or other process not yet elucidated.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Koo-Ng R, Falkous G, Reilly M, Peters TJ, Mantle D, Preedy VR

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Alcoholism-Clinical and Experimental Research

Year: 2000

Volume: 24

Issue: 12

Pages: 1862-1868

ISSN (print): 0145-6008

ISSN (electronic): 1530-0277

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2000.tb01991.x


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