Contralateral Leg as a Control During Skeletal Muscle Ischemia-Reperfusion1

Fabien Thaveau, Joffrey Zoll, Jamal Bouitbir, Florence Ribera, Paola Di Marco, Nabil Chakfe, Jean Georges Kretz, Francois Piquard, Bernard Geny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: Recent data demonstrated that hind limb ischemia induces skeletal muscle mitochondrial dysfunctions. Improvement of such metabolic myopathy improves patient's symptomatology, supporting the development of experimental models focused on mitochondrial function analysis. However, although the nonischemic contralateral leg is often used as a control during unilateral leg ischemia, whether it might be useful when assessing ischemia-induced mitochondrial dysfunction remains to be investigated. Materials and Methods: Both ischemic (IR) and nonischemic contralateral legs (CTL) of rats (n=13) submitted to 5 h ischemia induced by a rubber band tourniquet applied on the root of the hind limb were studied and compared to that of sham-operated animals (SHAM, n=13). Maximal oxidative capacities (Vmax) and complexes I, II and IV activities of the gastrocnemius mitochondrial respiratory chain were determined, using glutamate-malate, succinate (Vs) and TMPD-ascorbate (VTMPD) substrates. Results: Vmax was decreased in IR (4.6±0.4 μM/min/g dry weight) compared to both SHAM and CTL muscles (8.5±0.5 and 7.1±0.4 μM/min/g dry weight, -46% and -36%, P<0.001,respectively). VS and VTMPD were reduced in IR muscle (-56% and -48% for VS; and -25% and -24% for VTMPD, P<0.001) as compared to SHAM and CTL). VS and VTMPD were similar in SHAM and CTL muscles. Conclusions: Five hours ischemia-reperfusion significantly impaired complexes I, II and IV of the ischemic skeletal muscle mitochondrial respiratory chain. Interestingly, only Vmax was slightly altered in the contralateral leg, supporting that the nonischemic leg might be used as a control when assessing mitochondrial function in the experimental setting of unilateral hind limb ischemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-69
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2009


  • contralateral leg
  • hind limb
  • ischemia
  • mitochondria
  • oxidative capacity
  • peripheral arterial disease
  • reperfusion
  • surgery
  • tourniquet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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