The acute effects of cigarette-smoke exposure on muscle fiber type dynamics in rats

Kwok Kuen Cheung, Kai Hang Fung, JCW Mak, Sheung Ying Cheung, Wanjia He, Joseph Wai Hin Leung, Wui Man Lau (Corresponding Author), Shirley P.C. Ngai (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Reduced exercise capacity is common in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) and chronic smokers and is suggested to be related to skeletal muscle dysfunction. Previous studies using human muscle biopsies have shown fiber-type shifting in chronic smokers particularly those with COPD. These results, however, are confounded with aging effects because people with COPD tend to be older. In the present study, we implemented an acute 7-day cigarette smoke-exposed model using Sprague-Dawley rats to evaluate early effects of cigarette smoking on soleus muscles. Rats (n = 5 per group) were randomly assigned to either a sham air (SA) or cigarette smoking (CS) groups of three different concentrations of total particulate matters (TPM) (CS TPM2.5, CS TPM5, CS TPM10). Significantly lower percentages of type I and higher type IIa fiber were detected in the soleus muscle in CS groups when compared with SA group. Of these, only CS TMP10 group exhibited significantly lower citrate synthase activity and higher muscle tumor necrosis factor-α level than that of SA group. Tumor necrosis factor-α level was correlated with the percentage of type I and IIa fibers. However, no significant between-group differences were found in fiber cross-sectional area, physical activities, or lung function assessments. In conclusion, acute smoking may directly trigger the onset of glycolytic fiber type shift in skeletal muscle independent of aging.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0233523
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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