Selective Myostatin Inhibition Spares Sublesional Muscle Mass and Myopenia-Related Dysfunction after Severe Spinal Cord Contusion in Mice

Gregory E. Bigford, Adriana Donovan, Micah T. Webster, W. Dalton DIetrich, Mark S. Nash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Clinically relevant myopenia accompanies spinal cord injury (SCI), and compromises function, metabolism, body composition, and health. Myostatin, a transforming growth factor (TGF)β family member, is a key negative regulator of skeletal muscle mass. We investigated inhibition of myostatin signaling using systemic delivery of a highly selective monoclonal antibody - muSRK-015P (40 mg/kg) - that blocks release of active growth factor from the latent form of myostatin. Adult female mice (C57BL/6) were subjected to a severe SCI (65 kdyn) at T9 and were then immediately and 1 week later administered test articles: muSRK-015P (40 mg/kg) or control (vehicle or IgG). A sham control group (laminectomy only) was included. At euthanasia, (2 weeks post-SCI) muSRK-015P preserved whole body lean mass and sublesional gastrocnemius and soleus mass. muSRK-015P-treated mice with SCI also had significantly attenuated myofiber atrophy, lipid infiltration, and loss of slow-oxidative phenotype in soleus muscle. These outcomes were accompanied by significantly improved sublesional motor function and muscle force production at 1 and 2 weeks post-SCI. At 2 weeks post-SCI, lean mass was significantly decreased in SCI-IgG mice, but was not different in SCI-muSRK-015P mice than in sham controls. Total energy expenditure (kCal/day) at 2 weeks post-SCI was lower in SCI-immunoglobulin (Ig)G mice, but not different in SCI-muSRK-015P mice than in sham controls. We conclude that in a randomized, blinded, and controlled study in mice, myostatin inhibition using muSRK-015P had broad effects on physical, metabolic, and functional outcomes when compared with IgG control treated SCI animals. These findings may identify a useful, targeted therapeutic strategy for treating post-SCI myopenia and related sequelae in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3440-3455
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of neurotrauma
Volume38
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 15 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • locomotor function
  • metabolism
  • recovery
  • spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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