Enhancement of neuromuscular dynamics and strength behavior using extremely low magnitude mechanical signals in mice

Gabriel Mettlach, Luis Polo-Parada, Lauren Peca, Clinton T. Rubin, Florian Plattner, James A. Bibb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Exercise in general, and mechanical signals in particular, help ameliorate the neuromuscular symptoms of aging and possibly other neurodegenerative disorders by enhancing muscle function. To better understand the salutary mechanisms of such physical stimuli, we evaluated the potential for low intensity mechanical signals to promote enhanced muscle dynamics. The effects of daily brief periods of low intensity vibration (LIV) on neuromuscular functions and behavioral correlates were assessed in mice. Physiological analysis revealed that LIV increased isometric force production in semitendinosus skeletal muscle. This effect was evident in both young and old mice. Isometric force recordings also showed that LIV reduced the fatiguing effects of intensive synaptic muscle stimulation. Furthermore, LIV increased evoked neurotransmitter release at neuromuscular synapses but had no effect on spontaneous end plate potential amplitude or frequency. In behavioral studies, LIV increased mouse grip strength and potentiated initial motor activity in a novel environment. These results provide evidence for the efficacy of LIV in producing changes in the neuromuscular system that translate into performance gains at a behavioral scale.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-167
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 3 2014


  • Mechanical signals
  • Muscle strength
  • Neuromuscular
  • Quantal content
  • Whole body vibration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation


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