Unit

In Vivo Assessment of Mouse Hindlimb Muscle Force, Contractile, and Fatigue Characteristics, and Motor Unit Number

  1. Bernadett Kalmar,
  2. Linda Greensmith

Published Online: 1 MAR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9780470942390.mo110155

Current Protocols in Mouse Biology

Current Protocols in Mouse Biology

How to Cite

Kalmar, B. and Greensmith, L. 2012. In Vivo Assessment of Mouse Hindlimb Muscle Force, Contractile, and Fatigue Characteristics, and Motor Unit Number. Current Protocols in Mouse Biology. 2:89–101.

Author Information

  1. UCL Institute of Neurology, London, United Kingdom

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 MAR 2012
  2. Published Print: MAR 2012

Abstract

The use of rodents to model neuromuscular diseases necessitates assessment of neuromuscular function to monitor disease progression. Muscle function can be assessed by determining muscle force, and the contraction's contractile and fatigue characteristics. Assessment of motor units gives a measure of motoneuron health. Thus, assessment of these parameters can reveal the degree and nature of neuromuscular pathology. A reduction in muscle force may result either from loss of motoneurons and a concomitant denervation of muscles or as a result of primary muscle pathology. Estimation of the number of functional motor units may identify whether the deficit is neural in origin. Here, we give a detailed description of the assessment of muscle force, contractile characteristics, and muscle fatigue, as well as a method that gives a direct and accurate readout on the number of motor units in individual mouse hindlimb muscles in mice—now widely used to model a variety of neuromuscular disorders. Curr. Protoc. Mouse Biol. 2:89-101 © 2012 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Keywords:

  • muscle force;
  • muscle fatigue;
  • muscle contraction;
  • motor unit;
  • motoneuron;
  • twitch force