Activity-induced adaptations in skeletal muscles of iron-deficient rabbits.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether severe iron deficiency alters the adaptive response of skeletal muscle fibers to a sustained increase in tonic contractile activity. Seven weanling rabbits consumed a low iron diet and underwent phlebotomy twice weekly for 6 mo, resulting in severe anemia (mean Hb 5.5 g/dl). Compared with control animals, tibialis anterior skeletal muscles of iron-deficient animals exhibited reduced concentrations of cytochrome c (4.4 +/- 0.7 vs. 8.6 +/- 0.7 nmol/g tissue; P less than 0.01), and reduced activities of citrate synthase (83 +/- 10 vs. 133 +/- 13 mU/mg protein; P less than 0.01) and cytochrome-c oxidase (2.2 +/- 0.2 vs. 3.6 +/- 0.5 U/mg protein; P less than 0.05). In these muscles mitochondria were swollen and displayed deformed cristae. Less severe biochemical abnormalities were observed in cardiac and soleus skeletal muscles. Ten days of continuous electrical stimulation of the motor nerve supplying anterior compartment muscles of iron-deficient rabbits increased expression of mitochondrial proteins: cytochrome c was increased to 154% of control levels (P less than 0.05), and cytochrome-c oxidase and citrate synthase activities were increased to 199 and 272% of control levels, respectively (P less than 0.005). In addition, electrical pacing increased the fractional volume of mitochondria observed by electron microscopy and reduced the activity of aldolase A by 28% (P less than 0.05).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
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