The extra-sarcomeric cytoskeleton (actin microfilaments and anchoring proteins) is involved in maintaining the sarco-membrane stiffness and integrity and in turn the mechanical stability and function of the intra- and sub-sarcoplasmic proteins. Accordingly, it regulates Ca2+ entry through the L-type Ca2+ channels and the mechano-sensitivity of the stretch activated channels (SACs). Moreover, being intra-sarcomeric cytoskeleton bound to costameric proteins and other proteins of the sarcoplasma by intermediate filaments, as desmin, it integrates the properties of the sarcolemma with the skeletal muscle fibres contraction. The aim of this research was to compare the cytoskeleton, SACs and the ECC alterations in two different types of injured skeletal muscle fibres: by muscle denervation and mechanical overload (eccentric contraction). Experiments on denervation were made in isolated Soleus muscle of male Wistar rats; forced eccentric-contraction (EC) injury was achieved in Extensor Digitorum Longus muscles of Swiss mice. The method employed conventional intracellular recording with microelectrodes inserted in a single fibre of an isolated skeletal muscle bundle. The state of cytoskeleton was evaluated by recording SAC currents and by evaluating the resting membrane potential (RMP) value determined in current-clamp mode. The results demonstrated that in both injured skeletal muscle conditions the functionality of L-type Ca2+ current, ICa, was affected. In parallel, muscle fibres showed an increase of the resting membrane permeability and of the SAC current. These issues, together with a more depolarized RMP are an index of altered cytoskeleton. In conclusion, we found a symilar alteration of ICa, SAC and cytoskeleton in both injured skeletal muscle conditions.
cytoskeleton, L-type Ca2+ channel, excitation-contraction coupling, stretch activated channel, denervation, eccentric contraction, muscle injury