Reversal of diabetic-induced myopathy by swimming exercise in pregnant rats: a translational intervention study

Sci Rep. 2022 May 5;12(1):7375. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-10801-z.


Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) plus rectus abdominis muscle (RAM) myopathy predicts long-term urinary incontinence (UI). Atrophic and stiff RAM are characteristics of diabetes-induced myopathy (DiM) in pregnant rats. This study aimed to determine whether swimming exercise (SE) has a therapeutic effect in mild hyperglycemic pregnant rats model. We hypothesized that SE training might help to reverse RAM DiM. Mild hyperglycemic pregnant rats model was obtained by a unique subcutaneous injection of 100 mg/kg streptozotocin (diabetic group) or citrate buffer (non-diabetic group) on the first day of life in Wistar female newborns. At 90 days of life, the rats are mated and randomly allocated to remain sedentary or subjected to a SE protocol. The SE protocol started at gestational day 0 and consisted of 60 min/day for 6 days/week in a period of 20 days in a swim tunnel. On day 21, rats were sacrificed, and RAM was collected and studied by picrosirius red, immunohistochemistry, and transmission electron microscopy. The SE protocol increased the fiber area and diameter, and the slow-twitch and fast-twitch fiber area and diameter in the diabetic exercised group, a finding was also seen in control sedentary animals. There was a decreased type I collagen but not type III collagen area and showed a similar type I/type III ratio compared with the control sedentary group. In conclusion, SE during pregnancy reversed the RAM DiM in pregnant rats. These findings may be a potential protocol to consider in patients with RAM damage caused by GDM.

PMID:35513450 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-022-10801-z

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