Using laser capture microdissection to study fiber specific signaling in locomotor muscle in COPD

a pilot study

Divya Mohan, Amy Lewis, Mehul S. Patel, Katrina J. Curtis, Jen Y. Lee, Nicholas S. Hopkinson, Ian B. Wilkinson, Paul R. Kemp*, Michael I. Polkey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Quadriceps dysfunction is important in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), with an associated increased proportion of type II fibers. Investigation of protein synthesis and degradation has yielded conflicting results, possibly due to study of whole biopsy samples, whereas signaling may be fiber-specific. Our objective was to develop a method for fiber-specific gene expression analysis. Methods: 12 COPD and 6 healthy subjects underwent quadriceps biopsy. Cryosections were immunostained for type II fibers, which were separated using laser capture microdissection (LCM). Whole muscle and different fiber populations were subject to quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Results: Levels of muscle-RING-finger-protein-1 and Atrogin-1 were lower in type II fibers of COPD versus healthy subjects (P = 0.02 and P = 0.03, respectively), but differences were not apparent in whole muscle or type I fibers. Conclusions: We describe a novel method for studying fiber-specific gene expression in optimum cutting temperature compound-embedded muscle specimens. LCM offers a more sensitive way to identify molecular changes in COPD muscle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)902-912
Number of pages11
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • fiber type
  • humans
  • microdissection
  • muscle weakness
  • quadriceps muscle

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