The effects of BH4, L-arginine (L-arg) and vitamin C (VitC) on necrosis in the ischemic gastrocnemius muscle. (A) Gastrocnemius muscle was removed 7 d after induction of hindlimb ischemia. Transverse sections of this muscle were stained with nitroblue tetrazolium to determine the ratio of necrotic versus viable surface area. This ratio was less in rats receiving BH4 + L-arginine + vitamin C than in all other groups. Data are mean ± sd; n = 6. *p < 0.05 for BH4 + L-arginine + vitamin C groups versus all other groups. (B) Representative images from each study group. (C) Histological sections of gastrocnemius muscle taken from the ischemic hindlimb 7 d after the induction of hindlimb ischemia were stained with H&E. Representative sections are shown. Note the loss of myofibers and the intense cellular infiltrate in the control, BH4 and L-arginine groups. Best preservation of muscle architecture was consistently observed in rats receiving BH4 + L-arginine + vitamin C.