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Oestrogen receptor-alpha activation augments post-exercise myoblast proliferation

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Abstract Aim: 

Our laboratory has shown that oestrogen acts to augment myoblast (satellite cell) activation, proliferation and total number and that this may occur through an oestrogen receptor (OR)-mediated mechanism. The purpose of this study was to further investigate the mechanism of oestrogen influence on augmentation of post-exercise myoblast numbers through use of a specific OR-α agonist, propyl pyrazole triol (PPT). Methods: 

Ovariectomized rats were used (n = 64) and separated into four groups: sham, oestrogen supplemented, agonist supplemented, and a combined oestrogen and agonist supplemented group. These groups were further subdivided into control (unexercised) and exercise groups. Surgical removal of white vastus and soleus muscles was performed 72 h post-exercise. Muscle samples were immunostained for the myoblast markers Pax7 and MyoD. Results: 

A significant increase in total (Pax7-positive) and activated (MyoD-positive) myoblasts was found in all groups post-exercise. A further significant augmentation of total and activated myoblasts occurred in oestrogen supplemented, agonist supplemented and the combined oestrogen and agonist supplemented groups post-exercise in white vastus and soleus muscles relative to unsupplemented animals. Conclusion: 

These results demonstrate that both oestrogen and the specific OR-α receptor agonist, PPT, can significantly and to similar degrees augment myoblast number and activation following exercise-induced muscle damage. This suggests that oestrogen acts through an OR-mediated mechanism to stimulate myoblast proliferation following exercise, with OR-α playing a primary role.

Keywords: muscle repair; myoblasts; oestrogen; oestrogen receptors; satellite cells

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2010


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