Stretching and Electrical Stimulation Reduce the Accumulation of MyoD, Myostatin and atrogin-1 in Denervated Rat Skeletal Muscle

J Muscle Res Cell Motil. 2010 Jul;31(1):45-57. doi: 10.1007/s10974-010-9203-z. Epub 2010 Feb 27.


Denervation causes muscle atrophy and incapacity in humans. Although electrical stimulation (ES) and stretching (St) are commonly used in rehabilitation, it is still unclear whether they stimulate or impair muscle recovery and reinnervation. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of ES and St, alone and combined (ES + St), on the expression of genes that regulate muscle mass (MyoD, Runx1, atrogin-1, MuRF1 and myostatin), on muscle fibre cross-sectional area and excitability, and on the expression of the neural cell adhesion molecule (N-CAM) in denervated rat muscle. ES, St and ES + St reduced the accumulation of MyoD, atrogin-1 and MuRF1 and maintained Runx1 and myostatin expressions at normal levels in denervated muscles. None of the physical interventions prevented muscle fibre atrophy or N-CAM expression in denervated muscles. In conclusion, although ES, St and ES + St changed gene expression, they were insufficient to avoid muscle fibre atrophy due to denervation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Core Binding Factor Alpha 2 Subunit / biosynthesis
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Male
  • Muscle Denervation
  • Muscle Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Muscle Stretching Exercises
  • Muscle, Skeletal / innervation
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Muscular Atrophy / metabolism*
  • MyoD Protein / biosynthesis*
  • Myostatin / biosynthesis*
  • Neural Cell Adhesion Molecules / biosynthesis
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • SKP Cullin F-Box Protein Ligases / biosynthesis*
  • Tripartite Motif Proteins
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / biosynthesis


  • Core Binding Factor Alpha 2 Subunit
  • Muscle Proteins
  • MyoD Protein
  • Myostatin
  • Neural Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Runx1 protein, rat
  • Tripartite Motif Proteins
  • Fbxo32 protein, rat
  • SKP Cullin F-Box Protein Ligases
  • Trim63 protein, rat
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases