The effects of icing or heat stress on the regeneration of injured soleus muscle were investigated in male Wistar rats. Bupivacaine was injected into soleus muscles bilaterally to induce muscle injury. Icing (0 °C, 20 min) was carried out immediately after the injury. Heat stress (42 °C, 30 min) was applied every other day during 2-14 days after the bupivacaine injection. Injury-related increase in collagen deposition was promoted by icing. However, the level of collagen deposition in heat-stressed animals was maintained at control levels throughout the experimental period and was significantly lower than that in icing-treated animals at 15 and 28 days after bupivacaine injection. Furthermore, the recovery of muscle mass, protein content, and muscle fiber size of injured soleus toward control levels was partially facilitated by heat stress. These results suggest that, compared with icing, heat stress may be a beneficial treatment for successful muscle regeneration at least by reducing fibrosis.
Keywords: Fibrosis; Heat shock protein 72; Heat stress; Icing; Muscle regeneration; Satellite cell.