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Muscle in defense

Lightfoot, Adam MRes; McArdle, Anne PhD; Griffiths, Richard D. MD, FRCP

doi: 10.1097/CCM.0b013e3181b6f8a5
Scientific Reviews

The physical inactivity of the critically ill patient is an abnormal state that compromises muscle function to an extent that the immobile skeletal muscle may not simply be a bystander in the disease process.

Skeletal muscle seems to maintain a system of defense against inflammation through heat shock proteins and the production of myokines. It contributes in a bidirectional role in systemic inflammatory signaling and the modulation of the inflammatory response. Skeletal muscle is a major contributor to whole-body glucose and protein metabolism, exemplified by its role in nutrient provision for the immune system and other rapidly dividing tissues through glutamine production.

From the School of Clinical Science, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK.

The authors have not disclosed any potential conflicts of interest.

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© 2009 by the Society of Critical Care Medicine and Lippincott Williams & Wilkins