Impact of volumetric muscle loss injury on persistent motoneuron axotomy

Benjamin T. Corona, Kate E. Flanagan, Christian M. Brininger, Stephen M. Goldman, Jarrod A. Call, Sarah M. Greising

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Introduction: Volumetric muscle loss (VML) occurs following significant traumatic injury or surgical removal of skeletal muscle, resulting in nonrecoverable loss of tissue and long-term dysfunction. Perhaps less recognized is that VML injuries inherently disrupt the neuromuscular unit, resulting in fiber denervation and presumptive motor unit rearrangement, expansion, and/or loss. To characterize neural dysfunction we quantified motoneuron axotomy, in efforts to understand how this relates to the temporal coordination of neuromuscular and morphological alterations due to injury. Methods: In an established rat tibialis anterior (TA) VML injury model, we examined the motoneuron, skeletal muscle, and maximal isometric torque at 3, 7, 14, and 21 days postinjury. Results: Significant axotomy of 57-79% of all TA muscle motoneurons was observed through 21 days postinjury, which was coupled with a 45-90% TA maximal torque deficit. Discussion: A ∼20% partial ablation of the TA muscle causes disproportionate damage across the motor unit acutely postinjury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)799-807
Number of pages9
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number5
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Dr. Lisa Ji, Ms. Monica Jalomo, Ms. Alexandra Flemington, and Mr. Corey Spencer for technical assistance in the completion of these studies. Ethical Statement: We confirm that we have read the Journal's position on issues involved in ethical publication and affirm that this report is consistent with those guidelines. Disclaimer: The opinions or assertions contained here are the private views of the authors and are not to be construed as official or as reflecting the views of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the United States Government.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • Innervated muscle units
  • Motor unit
  • Muscle fiber
  • Neuromuscular strength
  • Neuromusculoskeletal injury
  • Orthopedic trauma

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of volumetric muscle loss injury on persistent motoneuron axotomy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this