Department of Cardiovascular Pathology, Division of Health Sciences, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University, 1-7 Yamada-oka, Suita, Osaka, 565-0871, Japan; Departments of Drug Discovery Cardiovascular Regeneration, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka, Osaka University, 2-2 Yamada-oka, Suita, Osaka, 565-0871, Japan; Graduate School of Health Sciences, Morinomiya University of Medical Sciences, 1-26-16 Nankokita, Suminoe-ku, Osaka, Osaka, 559-8611, Japan. Electronic address: [Email]
Oral and maxillofacial skeletal muscles are critical for oral motor functions, and severe damage to these muscles by trauma or surgery may lead to persistent functional impairment. This study investigated the effects of SVVYGLR (SV) peptide, a thrombin-cleaved osteopontin-derived motif, on histopathological wound healing and functional repair after severe injury of skeletal muscles. A rat model of volumetric muscle loss bilateral masseter muscle was developed. A single dose of SV-peptide or phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) was separately injected into the injured muscle belly. Histopathological and functional analyses were performed 1-8 weeks after the treatment. Behavioral analysis during free-feeding revealed that the feeding rate markedly increased in the SV-peptide group, in contrast, the PBS group showed fewer changes after the injury. Electromyogram recordings from injured muscles demonstrated amplification of rectified burst activity over time accompanied by increased maximal amplitude and duration in the SV-peptide group, in contrast, the PBS group showed moderate changes. A lissajous figure for bilateral masseter muscle activities also revealed superior functional recovery by the SV-peptide treatment. The SV-peptide also facilitated regeneration of muscles composed of matured myofibers with a greater diameter compared to the PBS group. In addition, granulation in the earlier period and fibrosis in the later period of wound healing were significantly inhibited by the SV-peptide treatment but not by the PBS treatment. Therefore, local application of the SV-peptide could help facilitate regeneration of muscles, inhibition of fibrosis, and improvement of functional impairment of oral and maxillofacial skeletal muscles damaged by severe trauma or surgery.