• Gregory CM, Vandenborne K, Huang HF, Ottenweller JE and Dudley GA (2003). Effects of testosterone replacement therapy on skeletal muscle after spinal cord injury. Spinal Cord 41:23-8. Summary: STUDY DESIGN: Randomized control. OBJECTIVE: To examine the effects of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) on skeletal muscle 11 weeks after complete SCI. SETTING: Athens, Georgia USA. METHODS: Soleus (SOL), gastrocnemius (GA), tibialis anterior (TA), vastus lateralis (VL) and triceps brachii (TRI) muscles were taken from twelve young male Charles River rats 11 weeks after complete SCI (T-9 transection, n=8) or sham surgery (n=4). Rats received either TRT (two 5 cm capsules, n=4) or empty capsules (n=8) implanted at surgery. Muscle samples were sectioned and fibers analyzed qualitatively for myosin ATPase and quantitatively for succinate dehydrogenase (SDH), alpha-glycerol-phosphate dehydrogenase (GPDH) and actomyosin ATPase (qATPase) activities using standard techniques. RESULTS: SCI decreased average fiber size (49 /-4%) in affected muscles and the percentage of slow fibers in SOL (93 /-3% to 17 /-2%). In addition, there was a decrease in SDH and an increase in GPDH and qATPase activities across the four hind-limb muscles of the SCI animals. Fiber size in the TRI was increased (31 /-2%) by SCI while enzyme activities were not altered. Average fiber size across the four hind limb muscles was decreased by only 30% in TRT SCI animals and their SOL contained 39 /-2% slow fibers. TRT also attenuated changes in enzyme activities. There was no effect of TRT on the TRI relative to SCI. CONCLUSIONS: TRT was effective in attenuating alterations in myofibrillar proteins during 11 weeks of SCI in affected skelatal muscles. SPONSORSHIP: Supported by a grant from The National Institutes of Health (HD-33738) and HD-37645 to KV, and HD-39676 to GAD. Department of Physical Therapy, Texas Women's University, Houston, Texas, TX 77030, USA.

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