Low-Intensity Vibration Improves Muscle Healing in a Mouse Model of Laceration Injury, 2018

Topics: skeletal muscle injury; laceration; low-intensity vibration; muscle regeneration; fibrosis

Authors: Thomas F. Corbiere, Eileen M. Weinheimer-Haus, Stefan Judex, and Timothy J. Koh


Recovery from traumatic muscle injuries is typically prolonged and incomplete, leading to impaired muscle and joint function. We sought to determine whether mechanical stimulation via whole-body low-intensity vibration (LIV) could (1) improve muscle regeneration and (2) reduce muscle fibrosis following traumatic injury. C57BL/6J mice were subjected to a laceration of the gastrocnemius muscle and were treated with LIV (0.2 g at 90 Hz or 0.4 g at 45 Hz for 30 min/day) or non-LIV sham treatment (controls) for seven or 14 days. Muscle regeneration and fibrosis were assessed in hematoxylin and eosin or Masson’s trichrome stained muscle cryosections, respectively. Compared to non-LIV control mice, the myofiber cross-sectional area was larger in mice treated with each LIV protocol after 14 days of treatment. Minimum fiber diameter was also larger in mice treated with LIV of 90 Hz/0.2 g after 14 days of treatment. There was also a trend toward a reduction in collagen deposition after 14 days of treatment with 45 Hz/0.4 g (p = 0.059). These findings suggest that LIV may improve muscle healing by enhancing myofiber growth and reducing fibrosis. The LIV-induced improvements in muscle healing suggest that LIV may represent a novel therapeutic approach for improving the healing of traumatic muscle injuries.

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