Plantarflexion contracture in the mdx mouse.

Michael W. Garlich, Kristen A. Baltgalvis, Jarrod A. Call, Lisa L. Dorsey, Dawn A. Lowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Contractures are a major clinical issue for patients with muscular dystrophies. However, it is unknown whether contractures are present in the widely used mdx mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to develop methods to measure muscle contractures in mice, to determine whether plantarflexion contractures are present in mdx mice, and to analyze the composition of the major muscles involved. Hindlimbs of eight wild type and six mdx mice were assessed every 2 wks during the course of a 12-wk study. Assessments included range of motion and in vivo torques about the ankle. At the end of the study, mice were euthanized, and muscles were analyzed for composition. The mdx mice had ∼10 degrees less dorsiflexion, increased passive torque moving the ankle into dorsiflexion, and an increased passive-to-active torque ratio relative to wild type mice. Gastrocnemius muscle composition alterations included increased wet mass, decreased protein content, and increased collagen. The results indicate that mdx mice have plantarflexion contractures similar to those seen in children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. In future studies, these measures can be used to assess strategies to slow the progression of contractures that occur with muscular dystrophies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)976-985
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican journal of physical medicine & rehabilitation / Association of Academic Physiatrists
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2010


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