Effect of Calcitriol and Vitamin D Receptor Modulator 2 on Recovery of Injured Skeletal Muscle in Wistar Rats
Muscle injuries often result in functional limitations due to insufficient healing. This study assessed the influence of calcitriol and vitamin D Receptor Modulator 2 (VDRM2) on muscle regeneration in male Wistar rats following open blunt muscle injury. The injured left soleus muscle of the rats was treated for the first four days after trauma with local injections of either calcitriol, VDRM2, or a 10% ethanol solution (control). Although muscle strength significantly decreased post-injury, all groups showed gradual improvement but did not achieve full recovery. By the 14th day, calcitriol-treated rats significantly outperformed the control group in the incomplete tetanic force, with VDRM2-treated rats showing muscle strength values that fell between the control and calcitriol groups. Similar trends were observed in complete tetanic contractions and were confirmed histologically via muscle cell width quantification. Additionally, histological analysis showed increased cellular turnover on the fourth postoperative day in the calcitriol group, as indicated by elevated cell proliferation rates and fewer apoptotic cells. VDRM2-treated animals showed only an increased proliferative activity on day 4 after injury. No noticeable differences between the groups for CAE-positive cells or visible muscle tissue area were found. In conclusion, predominantly calcitriol positively influenced post-trauma muscle recovery, where VDRM2 had substantially lower biological activity.