Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) has potent axonal growth and survival effects on motoneurons. This study used transgenic Myo-GDNF mice to assess the effects of targeted GDNF overexpression on functional recovery after botulinum toxin type A (BTxA) chemodenervation. BTxA (0.1 U) was injected into the tibialis anterior (TA) muscle of wild-type CF1 and transgenic Myo-GDNF mice. On days 1, 7, 14, and 21 after injection, evoked muscle force production and muscle mass were measured (n = 6, for each group at each time point). Greater maximal tetanic force and calculated specific force were evoked in Myo-GDNF animals when compared with control CF1 animals at days 1, 7, and 21. However, the differences were not statistically significant. Similarly, modest reductions in muscle atrophy in the Myo-GDNF group at all time points were not statistically significant. Targeted overexpression of GDNF in the muscles of Myo-GDNF mice did not improve motor recovery in the first 21 days after BTxA chemodenervation.
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