Researchers at McMaster University have discovered a protein that is only detectable after muscle damage, and it may serve as a way to measure injury.
"Our results highlight the protein called Xin as a muscle damage biomarker," said Thomas Hawke, principal investigator and an associate professor for the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine at McMaster.
"Regardless of the way in which muscle was damaged, either through trauma or disease, Xin was strongly correlated to the degree of damage."
The research will be published in the December issue of The American Journal of Pathology.
The paper explains that the protein Xin is undetectable in muscle biopsies of healthy subjects. However, when muscle damage occurs, Xin becomes detectable and shows a pattern that highly correlates with the amount of muscle damage.
The researchers found this to be true for healthy subjects who have damaged their muscles with intense exercise as well as numerous patients with various forms of muscle disease, including muscular dystrophy.