An Improved Method for Studying Mouse Diaphragm Function

Duan Lab
University of Missouri

Thais Borges Lessa has a Bachelor in Physiotherapy. Following, she received her Master and Doctorate degree in Science in the Department of Surgery at the School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal science at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil. Currently Dr. Lessa is a Post-Doctoral fellow in the Duan Lab in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri-USA. Her research interests include Muscle physiology, Gene therapy and Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Dysfunction in the contractile properties of the diaphragm muscle contributes to the morbidity and mortality in many neuromuscular and respiratory diseases. Methods that can accurately quantify diaphragm function in mouse models are essential for preclinical studies. Diaphragm function is usually measured using the diaphragm strip. Two methods have been used to attach the diaphragm strip to the force transducer. The suture method is easy to adopt but it cannot maintain the physiological orientation of the muscle fibers. Hence, results may not accurately reflect diaphragm contractility. The clamp method can better maintain diaphragm muscle fiber orientation but is used less often because detailed information on clamp fabrication and application has never been published. Importantly, a side-by-side comparison of the two methods is lacking. Through this presentation, Dr. Lessa will present a detailed and ready-to-use protocol on the design and manufacture of diaphragm clamps. She will also present a step by step protocol on how to mount the diaphragm strip to the clamp and then to the muscle force measurement system. We compared the diaphragm force from the same mouse with both suture and clamp methods.

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