Beneficial effects of cod protein on skeletal muscle repair following injury

Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2012 Jun;37(3):489-98. doi: 10.1139/h2012-021. Epub 2012 Apr 17.


This study examined the effect of peanut and cod proteins on post-damage skeletal muscle repair, compared with casein. We hypothesized that because of their high arginine content, these proteins would improve the resolution of inflammation and muscle mass recovery following injury. One hundred and twenty-eight male Wistar rats were assigned to isoenergetic diets composed of casein and peanut (experiment 1) or cod protein (experiment 2). After 21 days of feeding, one tibialis anterior muscle (TA) was injured with bupivacaine, while the contralateral TA was injected with saline (sham muscle). Measurements were taken at days 0, 3, 14, and 24 post-injury. Compared with casein, peanut protein reduced muscle mass at days 0 (-12%, p = 0.005) and 14 post-injury in the injured muscle (-13%, p = 0.04), and lowered myofiber cross-sectional area in both the sham (-21%, p = 0.008) and injured muscles (-26%, p = 0.05) at day 24 post-injury, showing that peanut protein has a weak potential to support muscle growth. At day 14 post-injury, muscle mass in the sham (13%, p = 0.02) and injured muscles (12%, p = 0.01) was higher in cod-protein-fed rats, indicating better muscle mass recovery, than in casein-fed rats. Cod protein tended (p = 0.06) to decrease the density of neutrophils (-24%) at day 14 post-injury in the injured muscle, and to decrease the density of ED1(+) macrophages at day 24 post-injury in both sham (-29%, p = 0.03) and injured (-40%, p = 0.01) muscles. No effects were observed for peanut protein. These data indicate that cod protein is better for promoting growth and regeneration of skeletal muscle after trauma, partly because of the improved resolution of inflammation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arachis / metabolism
  • Caseins / pharmacology
  • Diet / methods
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Fish Proteins / metabolism
  • Fish Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Gadiformes / metabolism*
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / injuries*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Regeneration / drug effects*
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Wound Healing / drug effects*


  • Caseins
  • Fish Proteins
  • Sodium Chloride