Butyrate prevents muscle atrophy after sciatic nerve crush

Michael E. Walsh, Arunabh Bhattacharya, Yuhong Liu, Holly Van Remmen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Introduction: Histone deacetylases (HDACs) have been implicated in neurogenic muscle atrophy, but the mechanisms by which HDAC inhibitors might have beneficial effects are not defined. Methods: We used sciatic nerve crush to determine the effect of butyrate on denervation-induced gene expression and oxidative stress. Results: Butyrate treatment initiated 3 weeks before injury and continued 1 week after injury increases histone acetylation and reduces muscle atrophy after nerve crush. Butyrate delivered only after nerve crush similarly prevented muscle atrophy. Butyrate had no effect on the increase in histone deacetylase 4 (HDAC4) protein levels following nerve crush but prevented the increase in expression of myogenin, MuRF1, and atrogin-1. Butyrate did not affect mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production, but it increased antioxidant enzyme activity, reduced proteasome activity, and reduced oxidative damage following nerve injury. Conclusions: These data suggest that HDAC inhibitors are promising pharmacological agents for treating neurogenic muscle atrophy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)859-868
Number of pages10
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2015


  • Histone deacetylase
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Myogenin
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Physiology (medical)


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