Atrophy of the rotator cuff muscles is a factor that complicates the treatment of a massive rotator cuff tear (RCT). However, the molecular mechanisms that govern the development of muscle atrophy after RCTs have not been well defined. The Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway plays a central role in maintaining muscle mass in response to mechanical loading. The role of this pathway in the development of muscle atrophy after a massive RCT remains unknown. The purpose of this study was to investigate the regulation of the Akt/mTOR pathway in the development of muscle atrophy after a RCT and suprascapular nerve (SSN) injury. We evaluated the activity of the Akt/mTOR signaling pathway and how this pathway interacts with two atrophy-related genes, MuRF-1 and MAFbx, in supraspinatus muscles of rats that underwent unilateral complete rotator cuff tendon transection or SSN transection. Akt/mTOR activity was significantly reduced after tendon rupture, but increased after nerve injury. MuRF-1 and MAFbx were only up-regulated following denervation. These results suggest that tendon transection leads to a decrease in protein synthesis with down-regulation of the Akt/mTOR signaling pathway, whereas denervation leads to an increase in protein degradation via up-regulation of expression of MuRF-1 and MAFbx.
- muscle atrophy
- rotator cuff tear
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine