Progressive resistance voluntary wheel running in the mdx mouse

Jarrod A. Call, James N. Mckeehen, Susan A. Novotny, Dawn A Lowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Exercise training has been minimally explored as a therapy to mitigate the loss of muscle strength for individuals with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Voluntary wheel running is known to elicit beneficial adaptations in the mdx mouse model for DMD. The aim of this study was to examine progressive resistance wheel running in mdx mice by comprehensively testing muscle function before, during, and after a 12-week training period. Male mdx mice at ∼4 weeks age were randomized into three groups: Sedentary, Free Wheel, and Resist Wheel. Muscle strength was assessed via in vivo dorsiflexion torque, grip strength, and whole body tension intermittently throughout the training period. Contractility of isolated soleus muscles was analyzed at the study's conclusion. Both Free and Resist Wheel mice had greater grip strength (∼22%) and soleus muscle specific tetanic force (26%) compared with Sedentary mice. This study demonstrates that two modalities of voluntary exercise are beneficial to dystrophic muscle and may help establish parameters for an exercise prescription for DMD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)871-880
Number of pages10
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • Cytoskeletal proteins
  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy
  • Exercise
  • Physical activity
  • Skeletal muscle function

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