Muscle fiber regeneration in human permanent lower motoneuron denervation: Relevance to safety and effectiveness of FES-training, which induces muscle recovery in SCI subjects

Ugo Carraro, Katia Rossini, Winfried Mayr, Helmut Kern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Morphologic characteristics of the long-term denervated muscle in animals suggest that some original fibers are lost and some of those seen are the result of repeated cycles of fiber regeneration. Muscle biopsies from lower motoneuron denervated patients enrolled in the EU Project RISE show the characteristics of long-term denervation. They present a few atrophic or severely atrophic myofibers dispersed among adipocytes and connective tissue (denervated degenerated muscle, DDM). Monoclonal antibody for embryonic myosin shows that regenerative events are present from 1- to 37-years postspinal cord injury (SCI). After 2- to 10-years FES-training the muscle cryosections present mainly large round myofibers. In the FES-trained muscles the regenerative events are present, but at a lower rate than long-term denervated muscles (myofiber per mm2 of cryosection area: 0.8 ± 1.3 in FES vs. 2.3 ± 2.3 in DDM, mean ± SD, P = 0.011). In our opinion this is a sound additional evidence of effectiveness of the Kern's electrical stimulation protocol for FES of DDM. In any case, the overall results demonstrate that the FES-training is safe: at least it does not induce more myofiber damage/regeneration than denervation per se.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-191
Number of pages5
JournalArtificial Organs
Volume29
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005

Keywords

  • Functional electrical stimulation
  • Human
  • Long-term denervation
  • Lower motoneuron lesion
  • Myofiber regeneration
  • Spinal-cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics

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