Protective Effects of Preconditioned Local Somatothermal Stimulation on Neuromuscular Plasticity against Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury in Rats

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The aim of this study was to investigate whether preconditioned local somatotheral stimulation (LSTS) protects the muscle and nerve against ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injuries. Male rats were randomly assigned to normal, preconditioned LSTS only, and I/R-injured groups with or without LSTS preconditioning. I/R injuries of the lower limb were induced by rubber band wrapping, followed by measurements of gait function and nerve conduction, muscle pathology, serum enzymatic activity, and the expression of heat-shock protein 70 (HSP-70) in the gastrocnemius muscles. No significant change of neuromuscular function was found between LSTS (-) and LSTS (+) groups on the first day after I/R injury. In contrast, gait stride length, compound motor action potential, and serum creatine phosphokinase MM isoenzyme were significantly improved on the eighth day after one or two doses of preconditioned LSTS and subsequent I/R injury. Western blot analysis disclosed no significant change of HSP-70 expression in the muscle of I/R injured limbs between LSTS (-) and LSTS (+) groups. We conclude that preconditioned LSTS is a safe modality that improves the neuromuscular plasticity against I/R injured limbs, which provides a new strategy for I/R injury in clinical applications, such as intraoperative use of tourniquets.

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