Effects of Adjunct Antifibrotic Treatment within a Regenerative Rehabilitation Paradigm for Volumetric Muscle Loss

Jessica M Motherwell, Connor P Dolan, Sergey S Kanovka, Jorge B Edwards, Sarah R Franco, Naveena B Janakiram, Michael S Valerio, Stephen M Goldman, Christopher L Dearth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The use of a rehabilitation approach that promotes regeneration has the potential to improve the efficacy of pro-regenerative therapies and maximize functional outcomes in the treatment of volumetric muscle loss (VML). An adjunct antifibrotic treatment could further enhance functional gains by reducing fibrotic scarring. This study aimed to evaluate the potential synergistic effects of losartan, an antifibrotic pharmaceutical, paired with a voluntary wheel running rehabilitation strategy to enhance a minced muscle graft (MMG) pro-regenerative therapy in a rodent model of VML. The animals were randomly assigned into four groups: (1) antifibrotic with rehabilitation, (2) antifibrotic without rehabilitation, (3) vehicle treatment with rehabilitation, and (4) vehicle treatment without rehabilitation. At 56 days, the neuromuscular function was assessed, and muscles were collected for histological and molecular analysis. Surprisingly, we found that the losartan treatment decreased muscle function in MMG-treated VML injuries by 56 days, while the voluntary wheel running elicited no effect. Histologic and molecular analysis revealed that losartan treatment did not reduce fibrosis. These findings suggest that losartan treatment as an adjunct therapy to a regenerative rehabilitation strategy negatively impacts muscular function and fails to promote myogenesis following VML injury. There still remains a clinical need to develop a regenerative rehabilitation treatment strategy for traumatic skeletal muscle injuries. Future studies should consider optimizing the timing and duration of adjunct antifibrotic treatments to maximize functional outcomes in VML injuries.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Volume24
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 10 Feb 2023

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