American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine vol:158 issue:6 pages:1963-1967
In order to examine the relative impairment of the diaphragm and other skeletal muscles in systolic ventricular dysfunction (VD), their structure and function were compared between rats with VD induced by left coronary artery ligation (n = 17) and sham-operated rats (Co, n = 10). In addition, in an attempt to unravel the mechanism of the observed impairment, we examined alterations in insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) serum levels and IGF-I expression in the liver, diaphragm, and gastrocnemius. In a second series of rats (VD, n = 5 and Co, n = 5) hemodynamic measurements were performed. All measurements were performed 3 mo after the operation. Infarct size averaged 32 +/- 10 and 44 +/- 20% in the two series, respectively (NS). Hemodynamic measurements revealed a decrease in left ventricular peak systolic pressure of 19% (p < 0. 05). Significant diaphragm atrophy (weight: 622 +/- 52 mg in VD versus 750 +/- 54 mg in Co, p < 0.0005), without alterations in diaphragm contractile properties was present in VD animals. For all animals combined, the reduction in diaphragm weight was related to infarct size (r = -0.74, p < 0.001). No alterations were observed in the other inspiratory and peripheral muscles. ATPase staining of the diaphragm showed atrophy of type I and type IIx/b fibers, their cross-sectional area (CSA) being reduced by 13 and 16%, respectively (p < 0.05). There were no signs of myopathic alterations. IGF-I expression was increased by 55% in the diaphragm of rats with VD (p < 0.05). IGF-I expression in the liver and gastrocnemius and serum IGF-I levels were unaltered. These data suggest the presence of compensatory mechanisms aimed at minimizing diaphragmatic fiber atrophy. We conclude that systolic VD caused: (1) selective diaphragm atrophy, which was related to infarct size; (2) a decrease in diaphragm type I and IIx/b CSA not associated with myopathic changes; (3) an increase in the IGF-I mRNA content of the diaphragm. The selective diaphragm involvement in the present study may be related to the moderate degree of ventricular dysfunction induced.