Tetracycline therapy for muscle atrophy due to immobilization

Eli Carmeli, E. Kodesh, C. Nemcovsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Certain proteins such as matrix metalloproteinase -2(MMP-2) and heat shock protein 70(HSP-70) play a role during the degradation process. We hypothesized that tetracycline can be used to reduce tissue degradation in skeletal muscles exposed to immobilization. The right knee of old rats (20-months-old) was immobilized by a rigid external fixator (EF) device for 1, 2, 3 and 4 weeks. Aqueous Tetracycline solution was administrated 3 times a week, following 2 days after the EF was constructed. Control group I was immobilized for 3 weeks, did not receive tetracycline but did received saline injection, and control group II only received tetracycline for 3 weeks. MMP-2 and HSP-70 protein and mRNA levels in the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles were analyzed at the molecular level by RT-PCR and the protein level using SDS-PAGE gels and western blots. We have shown that rats treated by Tetracycline reduce the MMP-2 expression and HSP-70. Theses changes mainly occurred in type IIb and type IIa muscle fibers. Tetracycline administration has beneficial effect on expression of enzymes involved in protein degradation. This may suggest a protective effect on protein degradation during immobilization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-88
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Musculoskeletal Neuronal Interactions
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2009


  • Atrophy
  • Immobilization
  • Skeletal muscle
  • Tetracycline

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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