Ursolic Acid Increases Strength in mdx Mice Model and may Decrease Fibrosis Deposition by TGF-ß Downregulation

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Rodrigo S. N. Barreto; Lilian J. Oliveira; Gustavo S. S. Matias; Rafaela R. Ribeiro; Concepta, M. M. Pimentel; David Feder & Maria Angelica Miglino


Dystrophin disfunction results in sarcolemma destabilization, leading muscle cell damage by continuous degeneration cycles and limited regeneration. In muscle dystrophy, caused by dystrophin dysfunction, inflammation, necrosis and fibrosis are pathophysiological muscle function loss characteristics. As a genetic disease,this muscle dystrophy has no cure, however, advances in drug therapy using glucocorticoids can decrease the disease progression. Subsequently, alternative therapies were studied, such as ursolic acid (UA), that inhibits muscle atrophy and increases muscle mass and strength. Herein, we used 10 mg/kg daily supplementation in mdx mice for 4 weeks to evaluate serum creatine phosphokinase (CPK), muscle strength (Kondziela test), muscular organization (histology) and expression of fibrosis related genes (TGF-ß, TNF-α, mstn and ostn). UA supplementation increased muscle morphological organization, motor strength and decreased muscular TGF-ß expression. Altogether, the gene expression profile, histological organization and strength could suggest that UA treatment did not stop the fibrogenesis but decreased its progress.

KEY WORDS: Apple wax; Fibrogenesis; Muscular dystrophy; Natural supplementation.

How to cite this article

BARRETO, R. S. N.; OLIVEIRA, L. J.; MATIAS, G. S. S.; RIBEIRO, R. R.; PIMENTEL, CONCEPTA, M. M.; FEDER, D. & MIGLINO, M. A. Ursolic acid increases strength in mdx mice model and may decrease fibrosis deposition by TGF-ß downregulation. Int. J. Morphol., 40(1):168-173, 2022.