Journal of Morphological Sciences
Journal of Morphological Sciences
Original Article

Estrogen treatment effects on rats soleus muscles’ glycogen content, extracellular matrix and cross-sectional area


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 Objective: To evaluate the effects of estrogen treatment of rats’ soleus muscles after denervation on glucose metabolism, muscle mass, glycogen content, cross-sectional area and connective tissue density. Methods: Eighteen rats were divided into the following three groups of six animals: control, denervated for 7 days (denervated), and denervated with estradiol treatment for 7 days (denervated and treated). We measured glucose and insulin tolerance, muscle glycogen, mass, cross-sectional area and connective tissue content. Results: The denervated only and the denervated and treated groups displayed a significant reduction in glucose uptake (32% and 53% respectively compared with the control group; p<0.05). Soleus muscle denervation reduced muscle glycogen (0.25 ± 0.03 vs 0.43 ± 0.02 mg/100mg; p<0.05), muscle mass (0.33 ± 0.09 vs. 0.48 ± 0.06 mg/g; p<0.05) and cross-sectional area (1626 ± 352 vs. 2234 ± 349 ?m2 ; p<0.05), and increased connective tissue content (35 ± 7 vs. 10 ± 5%; p<0.05) compared to controls. Estrogen treatment decreased connective tissue density in the denervated and treated group (24 ± 4%; p<0.05) compared to the denervated group. It also prevented alterations on muscle glycogen in denervated and trated group. However, estrogen treatment did not prevent muscle atrophy (1626 ± 352 vs. 1712 ± 319 ?m2 ). Conclusion: Estrogen treatment of rats’ soleus muscles after denervation increased muscle glycogen content and minimized connective tissue density increase, but it did not prevent muscle atrophy.


denervation, estrogen, muscle atrophy, muscle glycogen, connective tissue.


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