The FRG1-transgenic mouse displays muscle dysfunction and atrophy reminiscent of fascioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) and could provide a model to determine potential therapeutic interventions.
To determine if FRG1 mice benefit from treatments that improve muscle mass and function, mice were treated with creatine alone (Cr) or in combination with treadmill exercise (CrEX).
The CrEx treatment increased quadriceps weight, mitochondrial content (cytochome c oxidase (COX) activity, COX subunit one and four protein), and induced greater improvements in grip strength and rotarod fall speed. While Cr increased COX subunits one and four protein, no effect on muscle mass or performance was found. Since Cr resulted in no functional improvements, the benefits of CrEx may be mediated by exercise; however, the potential synergistic action of the combined treatment cannot be excluded.
Treatment with CrEx attenuates atrophy and muscle dysfunction associated with FRG1 overexpression. These data suggest exercise and creatine supplementation may benefit individuals with FSHD.