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Effects of muscle immobilization at different lengths on tetrodotoxin-induced disuse atrophy

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3 Author(s)
Salter, A.C.D. ; Queen''s Univ., Kingston, Ont., Canada ; Richmond, F.J.R. ; Loeb, G.E.

Previous studies have shown that immobilization causes muscle atrophy and that the rate of atrophy depends on the length at which the muscle is immobilized. However, most studies have been carried out in neurologically intact animals that were capable of generating at least some voluntary muscle activation. In this study, terrodotoxin was applied chronically to the rat sciatic nerve to produce complete paralysis of distal muscles for seven days, and the ankle was immobilized to hold the muscles at long or short lengths. Paralysis without immobilization resulted in relative weight losses of 36% for soleus, 19% for tibialis anterior (TA), and 17% for lateral gastrocnemius (LG) muscles. Casting the ankle in plantarflexion stretched TA and reduced its weight loss to 10%. Soleus and LG were shortened by this intervention and had increased losses of 43% and 28%, respectively. Fixing the limb in dorsiflexion resulted in a posture similar to that adopted by the unrestrained rats and had no significant effect on the amount of muscle atrophy compared to that in unrestrained paralyzed animals.

Published in:

Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:11 ,  Issue: 3 )

Date of Publication:

Sept. 2003

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