Int J Med Sci 2019; 16(6):822-830. doi:10.7150/ijms.32590

Research Paper

Low-Frequency Electrical Stimulation of Denervated Skeletal Muscle Retards Muscle and Trabecular Bone Loss in Aged Rats

Hiroyuki Tamaki1,2✉, Kengo Yotani2, Futoshi Ogita2, Keishi Hayao1, Hikari Kirimto3, Hideaki Onishi1, Norikatsu Kasuga4, Noriaki Yamamoto1,5

1. Institute for Human Movement and Medical Sciences, Niigata University of Health and Welfare, Japan
2. Department of Sports and Life Science, National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya, Japan
3. Department of Sensorimotor Neuroscience, Hiroshima University, Japan
4. Aichi University of Education, Japan
5. Niigata Rehabilitation Hospital, Japan

Abstract

Electrical stimulation (ES)-induced muscle contraction has multiple effects; however, mechano-responsiveness of bone tissue declines with age. Here, we investigated whether daily low-frequency ES-induced muscle contraction treatment reduces muscle and bone loss and ameliorates bone fragility in early-stage disuse musculoskeletal atrophy in aged rats. Twenty-seven-month-old male rats were assigned to age-matched groups comprising the control (CON), sciatic nerve denervation (DN), or DN with direct low-frequency ES (DN+ES) groups. The structural and mechanical properties of the trabecular and cortical bone of the tibiae, and the morphological and functional properties of the tibialis anterior (TA) muscles were assessed one week after DN. ES-induced muscle contraction force mitigated denervation-induced muscle and trabecular bone loss and deterioration of the mechanical properties of the tibia mid-diaphysis, such as the stiffness, but not the maximal load, in aged rats. The TA muscle in the DN+ES group showed significant improvement in the myofiber cross-sectional area and muscle force relative to the DN group. These results suggest that low-frequency ES-induced muscle contraction treatment retards trabecular bone and muscle loss in aged rats in early-stage disuse musculoskeletal atrophy, and has beneficial effects on the functional properties of denervated skeletal muscle.

Keywords: disuse, osteopenia, muscle force, micro computed tomography

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How to cite this article:
Tamaki H, Yotani K, Ogita F, Hayao K, Kirimto H, Onishi H, Kasuga N, Yamamoto N. Low-Frequency Electrical Stimulation of Denervated Skeletal Muscle Retards Muscle and Trabecular Bone Loss in Aged Rats. Int J Med Sci 2019; 16(6):822-830. doi:10.7150/ijms.32590. Available from http://www.medsci.org/v16p0822.htm