Skeletal muscle grafts performed with neurovascular repair are used extensively in clinical situations. However, most controlled experimental studies on the efficacy of such grafts have been conducted on muscles with a relatively small mass and over a limited recovery period. Therefore, selected cellular and matrix component properties of the comparatively large dog gracilis muscle (75 g) were studied 9-12 mo after orthotopic neurovascular grafting. The grafted muscle wet weights were 71% of the contralateral control (sham-operated) muscles. In addition, the concentrations of noncollagenous protein (13%), DNA (28%), and RNA (34%) were significantly reduced in the grafts. However, the concentration of collagen was significantly higher (41%) in the grafts. In this regard, the type III collagen phenotype showed the greatest relative increase. There was no difference between the grafted and control proteoglycan concentration. The metabolic profiles of the grafted muscles were significantly different from control. The activities of myofibrillar adenosinetriphosphatase (34%) and alpha-glycerophosphate dehydrogenase (25%) were reduced, whereas citrate synthase remained unchanged. These data suggest that recovery of up to 1 yr was insufficient for the normalization of several connective tissue matrix components and biochemical properties of the grafts.
- Copyright © 1990 the American Physiological Society