Research Paper Volume 13, Issue 14 pp 18051—18093

Beneficial effects of dietary supplementation with green tea catechins and cocoa flavanols on aging-related regressive changes in the mouse neuromuscular system


Figure 4. GTE- and cocoa-supplemented diets prevent aging-associated muscle denervation and regressive morphological alterations in NMJs. (A) Proportion of TA and Sol NMJs displaying different degrees of innervation; quantification was based on the percentage of α-Bgtx-labeled postsynaptic site area covered by SV2-immunostained presynaptic terminals (see Materials and Methods, <15% innervation was considered as denervated). (B) Number of NMJs of TA and Sol muscles exhibiting single (mono.) or multiple (poly.) innervation expressed as fold change of control group (blue dashed line). (CE) Percentage of NMJs showing terminal axonal sprouts (C), fragmented endplates (D) and postsynaptic sites exhibiting a pretzel-like appearance (E, indicative of high degree of synaptic maturity), in TA and Sol muscles of animals from different experimental groups. Bars in graphs represent the mean ± SEM; sample size: 30-58 (A), and 50-85 (BE) NMJs per muscle from 3-5 animals per condition; *p < 0.05, **p < 0.01 and ***p < 0.001 vs. control, one or two-way ANOVA, Bonferroni’s post hoc test; red lines in (CE) indicate values in adult mice previously reported [6]. (F1K3) Representative maximal projections of confocal stacks of NMJs of TA (F1H3) and Sol (I1K3) from mice of control, GTE and cocoa groups (as indicated in panels); muscle sections were stained with antibodies against NF and SV2 (green, for presynaptic nerve terminals), and α-Bgtx (red, for postsynaptic AChR). Scale bar in K3 = 20 μm (valid for F1K2).