This study examined the time course of adult rodent soleus muscle myofibril and myosin isoform protein expression after 4, 8, 16, 28, and 56 days of hindlimb unweighting by tail suspension (S). The time course of soleus muscle recovery (R) was also examined after 28 days of hindlimb unweighting with an additional 4, 8, 16, and 28 days of unrestricted cage activity. During suspension, soleus muscle myofibril protein rapidly decreased from 34.3 +/- 3.1 (1.96SE) mg/pair in the control (C) group to 6.9 +/- 1.4 (1.96SE) mg/pair in S (t = 56 days). The calculated first-order degradation rate constant for this loss was kd = 0.17 days-1 [half time (t1/2) = 4.1 days]. The estimated slow myosin (SM) isoform content decreased from 13.4 +/- 2.0 (1.96SE) mg/pair in C to 2.1 +/- 0.2 (1.96SE) mg/pair in S (kd = 0.19 days-1, t1/2 = 3.6 days). The relative proportion of other myosin isoforms was increased at 28 and 56 days of suspension, reflecting an apparent de novo synthesis and the loss of SM. Recovery of contractile protein after 28 days of suspension was slower for both the myofibril protein and the SM isoform (kd = 0.07 days-1, t1/2 = 10 days). These data suggest that loss of weight bearing specifically affected the mechanisms of contractile protein expression reflected in soleus muscle protein degradation processes. In addition, the expression of the myosin isoforms were apparently differentially affected by the loss of weight-bearing activity.
- Copyright © 1987 the American Physiological Society