Introduction: In this investigation we aimed to determine whether: (1) physical activity protects rat skeletal muscle from ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury; and (2) continued activity after I/R improves the rate of healing.
Methods: Rats were divided into sedentary or active (voluntary wheel running) groups. Active rats ran for 4 weeks before I/R or 4 weeks before plus 4 weeks after I/R.
Results: Activity before I/R resulted in 73.2% less muscle damage (Evans blue dye inclusion). Sedentary and active rats had a similar decline in neural-evoked (∼ 99%) and directly stimulated (∼ 70%) in vivo muscle torque, and a similar reduction in junctophilin 1. Active rats produced 19% and 15% greater neural-evoked torque compared with sedentary rats at 14 and 28 days postinjury, respectively, although the rate of recovery appeared similar.
Conclusions: Activity protects against long-term muscle damage, but not short-term neural injury or excitation-contraction uncoupling. Continued activity neither accelerates nor hinders the rate of functional recovery.
Keywords: exercise; junctophilin 1; muscle injury; rats; trauma.
Published 2015. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.