In most subjects with spinal cord injury, the spinal neurons below the level of injury are spared. Therefore, it is conceivable that the skeletal muscles innervated by these spinal nerves can be activated by applying therapeutic magnetic stimulation along the dorsal spine. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the ability of magnetic stimulation to prevent acute muscle atrophy in rats after hindlimb suspension. Forty adult male Wistar rats were randomly assigned to stimulated and non-stimulated (control) groups. Their hindlimbs were unweighted using a suspension method, causing muscle atrophy. In the stimulation group, magnetic stimulation (20 Hz, 60 min per day) was applied to the sciatic nerve for 10 days. After the stimulation period, the tibialis anterior (TA) and extensor digitorum longus (EDL) were surgically removed and histologically measured. The lesser diameters of type 1, 2A, and 2B muscle fibers were significantly greater in the stimulated group than in the non-stimulated group for both the TA and EDL (p < 0.05). The mean difference in lesser fiber diameter was 20% (range, 140%-27%). These results suggest that therapeutic magnetic stimulation is an effective method of preventing muscle atrophy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)