Earlier work has shown that two important consequences of implanting thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) microspheres near motoneurones within the trigeminal motor nucleus of actively growing rats are increased muscle mass and a darkening of the implant-side masticatory muscles. These phenomena have been associated with altered neuromuscular activity patterns and biomechanical forces that directly influence craniofacial growth and development. Now, whether the implantation of TRH microspheres in proximity to trigeminal motoneurones would affect the oxidative capacity of the implant-side masseter muscles muscles was investigated. Cytochrome C oxidase (COX) assays were carried out for both implant- and non-implant-side masseters of TRH (n = 5) and blank microsphere (n = 6) Sprague-Dawley rats after stereotactic surgery at 35 days of age. Analyses of both groups at 14 days post-implantation revealed that the COX activity levels of implant-side masseters in TRH-implanted rats was significantly (P ≤ 0.05) greater than that of non-implant-side masseters; rats implanted with blank microsphere exhibited no significant difference between implant- and non-implant-side masseter COX activity levels. The stated null hypothesis was therefore rejected. These data suggest that TRH implants in proximity to trigeminal motoneurones effect increased oxidative capacity of the masseter muscle as measured by COX activity.
- Oxidative capacity
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