Intramuscular β2-agonist administration enhances early regeneration and functional repair in rat skeletal muscle after myotoxic injury Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Systemic administration of β2-adrenoceptor agonists (β2-agonists) can improve skeletal muscle regeneration after injury. However, therapeutic application of β2-agonists for muscle injury has been limited by detrimental cardiovascular side effects. Intramuscular administration may obviate some of these side effects. To test this hypothesis, the right extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscle from rats was injected with bupivacaine hydrochloride to cause complete muscle fiber degeneration. Five days after injury, half of the injured muscles received an intramuscular injection of formoterol (100 μg). Muscle function was assessed at 7, 10, and 14 days after injury. A single intramuscular injection of formoterol increased muscle mass and force-producing capacity at day 7 by 17 and 91%, respectively, but this effect was transient because these values were not different from control levels at day 10. A second intramuscular injection of formoterol at day 7 prolonged the increase in muscle mass and force-producing capacity. Importantly, single or multiple intramuscular injections of formoterol did not elicit cardiac hypertrophy. To characterize any potential cardiovascular effects of intramuscular formoterol administration, we instrumented a separate group of rats with indwelling radio telemeters. Following an intramuscular injection of formoterol, heart rate increased by 18%, whereas systolic and diastolic blood pressure decreased by 31 and 44%, respectively. These results indicate that intramuscular injection can enhance functional muscle recovery after injury without causing cardiac hypertrophy. Therefore, if the transient cardiovascular effects associated with intramuscular formoterol administration can be minimized, this form of treatment may have significant therapeutic potential for muscle-wasting conditions.


  • Ryall, James G
  • Schertzer, Jonathan
  • Alabakis, Tammy M
  • Gehrig, Stefan M
  • Plant, David R
  • Lynch, Gordon S

publication date

  • July 2008

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