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TitleVertical ground reaction forces diminish in mice after botulinum toxin injection
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsManske, S. L., Boyd S. K., & Zernicke R. F.
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Date Published2010/12/24/
ISBN Number1873-2380

We examined changes in weight-bearing ability in mice after injection with botulinum toxin type A (BTX) to determine whether BTX can be used to isolate the effects of muscle on bone. As ambulation patterns were previously shown to improve within two weeks post-injection, we hypothesized that BTX injection to the posterior hindlimb would not significantly affect the mouse's ability to bear weight in the affected limb one week post-injection. Female BALB/c mice (N=13, 16-17 week old) were injected with either 20μL of BTX (1U/100g) or saline (SAL) in the left posterior hindlimb. Vertical ground reaction forces (GRF), hindlimb muscle cross-sectional area (MCSA), and tibial bone micro-architecture were assessed for 42d following injection. Peak and average vertical GRF were 11±1% and 23±3% lower, respectively, in the BTX-injected hindlimb within 4d post-injection and remained lower than the SAL-injected hindlimb 14-21d post-injection (15±4% and 10±2%, respectively). Time between forelimb and hindlimb peaks was 30-40% greater in the BTX-injected hindlimb than SAL-injected hindlimb 4-14d post-injection. Peak vertical GRF recovered earlier following BTX injection than MCSA or bone volume fraction. These results indicate that weight-bearing ability recovered despite persistent muscle atrophy, and that weight-bearing alone was insufficient to maintain bone in the absence of muscle activity. We suggest that the absence of high-frequency signals typically associated with fast-twitch muscle activity may be contributing to the ongoing degradation of bone after BTX injection.


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