TGF-β1 is known to inhibit muscle regeneration after muscle injury. However, it is unknown if high systemic levels of TGF-β can affect the muscle regeneration process. In the present study, we demonstrated the effect of a CCl4 intra-peritoneal injection and losartan (an angiotensin II type 1 receptor antagonist) on skeletal muscle (gastrocnemius muscle) injury and regeneration. Male C57BL/6 mice were grouped randomly as follows: control (n = 7), CCl4-treatment group (n = 7), and CCl4 + losartan treatment group (n = 7). After CCl4 treatment for a 16-week period, the animals were sacrificed and analyzed. The expression of dystrophin significantly decreased in the muscle tissues of the control group, as compared with that of the CCl4 + losartan group (p < 0.01). p(phospho)-Smad2/3 expression significantly increased in the muscles of the control group compared to that in the CCl4 + losartan group (p < 0.01). The expressions of Pax7, MyoD, and myogenin increased in skeletal muscles of the CCl4 + losartan group compared to the corresponding levels in the control group (p < 0.01). We hypothesize that systemically elevated TGF-β1 as a result of CCl4-induced liver injury causes skeletal muscle injury, while losartan promotes muscle repair from injury via blockade of TGF-β1 signaling.
Hwang, O. K., Park, J. K., Lee, E. J., Lee, E. M., Kim, A. Y., & Jeong, K. S. (2016). Therapeutic effect of losartan, an angiotensin II type 1 receptor antagonist, on CCl4-induced skeletal muscle injury. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 17(2). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17020227