Objectives: This study aimed at investigating the therapeutic effect of Salidroside on skeletal muscle atrophy in a rat model of cigarette smoking-induced COPD and its potential mechanisms.Methods: Male Wistar rats were randomized, and treated intraperitoneally with vehicle (injectable water) or a low, medium or high dose of Salidroside, followed by exposure to cigarette smoking daily for 16 weeks. A healthy control received vehicle injection and air exposure. Their lung function, body weights and gastrocnemius (GN) weights, grip strength and cross section area (CSA) of individual muscular fibers in the GN were measured. The levels of TNF-α, IL-6, malondialdehyde (MDA), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione (GSH) in serum and GN tissues as well as myostatin and myogenin expression in GN tissues were measured.Results:In comparison with that in the healthy control, long-term cigarette smoking induced emphysema,significantly impaired lung function, reduced body and GN weights and CSA values in rats, accompanied by significantly increased levels of TNF-α, IL-6 and MDA, but decreased levels of SOD and GSH in serum and GN tissues. Furthermore, cigarette smoking significantly up-regulated myostatin expression, but down-regulated myogenin expression in GN tissues. Salidroside treatment decreased emphysema, significantly ameliorated lung function, increased antioxidant, but reduced MDA, IL-6 and TNF-α levels in serum and GN tissues of rats, accompanied by decreased myostain, but increased myogenin expression in GN tissues.Conclusion: Salidroside mitigates the long-term cigarette smoking-induced emphysema and skeletal muscle atrophy in rats by inhibiting oxidative stress and inflammatory responses and regulating muscle-specific transcription factor expression.

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