Altered muscle metabolism in rats after thermal injury

James J. Newman, David R. Strome, Cleon W. Goodwin, Arthur D. Mason, Basil A. Pruitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Burn injury is associated with an elevation in total body oxygen consumption, increased hepatic alanine uptake and conversion to glucose, and a negative nitrogen balance. The primary source of the alanine used for gluconeogenesis by the liver and of the nitrogen lost as urea is believed to be from skeletal muscle. Selected muscle regulatory enzymes and pyruvate and oleate oxidation rates were assayed for maximal activity during the postburn period. Male Sprague-Dawley rats that received 50% total body surface scald burns on the dorsum and abdomen were examined for citrate synthase (CS), phosphofructokinase (PFK), and glutamate-pyruvate transaminase (GPT) activity in uninjured muscle at 3, 7, 13, and 20 days postburn, and the ability of muscle to oxidize pyruvate and oleate was measured at 3 and 13 days after injury. CS, PFK, and GPT activities increased significantly (p < 0.05) by 13-20 days after injury in the soleus and diaphragm. The epitrochlearis showed no change in CS, but PFK and GPT were elevated within this time frame. The gastrocnemius muscle showed an elevated oleate oxidation rate at 13 days after injury, but no change at 3 days postburn. Pyruvate oxidation rates were unaltered. The results of this study indicate that during the postburn period several metabolic alterations occur in muscle. These adaptations include: (1) elevated CS activity which may be associated with increased oxidative capactiy, (2) increased PFK activity which implies that more substrate is being shuttled through the glycolytic pathway, (3) increased GPT activity which may reflect increased pyruvate conversion to alanine, and (4) increased oleate oxidation rates which demonstrate that muscle is utilizing more fatty acid substrates during the postburn period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1229-1233
Number of pages5
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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