A 50 kdyne contusion spinal cord injury with or without the drug SS-31 was not associated with major changes in muscle mass or gene expression 14 d after injury in young male mice

Academic Article


  • Spinal cord injury (SCI) leads to rapid muscle atrophy due to paralysis/paresis and subsequent disuse. SS-31 is a mitochondrial-targeting peptide that has shown efficacy in protecting skeletal muscle mass and function in non-SCI models of muscle wasting. We aimed to determine if SS-31 could prevent muscle loss after SCI. Male C57BL/6 mice aged 9 weeks underwent sham surgery or 50 kdyne contusion SCI and were administered daily injections of vehicle or 5 mg/kg SS-31 for 14 d. Both SCI groups had sustained losses in body mass compared to Sham animals and ~10% reductions in gastrocnemius, plantaris and tibialis anterior muscle mass after SCI with no clear effect of SS-31. Measurements of protein synthesis in the soleus and plantaris were similar among all groups. mRNA expression of atrophy-associated proinflammatory cytokines was also similar among all groups. There was elevation in MYH7 mRNA and a statistical reduction in MYH2 mRNA expression in the SCI+SS-31 animals compared to Sham animals. There was an SCI-induced reduction in mRNA expression of the E3 ligase FBXO32 (MAFbx), but no effect of SS-31. In summary, a 50 kdyne contusion SCI was able to reduce body mass but was not associated with substantial muscle atrophy or alterations in gene expression profiles associated with muscle health and function 14 d post-injury. SS-31 was not associated with protection against SCI-related changes in body or muscle mass, protein synthesis or gene expression in hindlimb muscles.
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    Author List

  • Graham ZA; DeBerry JJ; Cardozo CP; Bamman MM
  • Volume

  • 9
  • Issue

  • 4