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Authors Connor NP, Russell JA, Jackson MA, Kletzien H, Wang H, Schaser AJ, Leverson GE, Zealear DL
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Journal Muscle Nerve Volume: 47 Issue: 2 Pages: 230-40
Publish Date 2013 Feb
PubMed ID 23169566
PMC ID 3556192

Age-related decreases in tongue muscle mass and strength have been reported. It may be possible to prevent age-related tongue muscle changes using neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES). Our hypothesis was that alterations in muscle contractile properties and myosin heavy chain composition would be found after NMES.Fifty-four young, middle-aged, and old 344/Brown Norway rats were included in this study. Twenty-four rats underwent bilateral electrical stimulation of the hypoglossal nerves for 8 weeks and were compared with control or sham rats. Muscle contractile properties and myosin heavy chain (MHC) in the genioglossus (GG), styloglossus (SG), and hyoglossus (HG) muscles were examined.Compared with unstimulated control rats, we found reduced muscle fatigue, increased contraction and half-decay times, and increased twitch and tetanic tension. Increased type I MHC was found, except for in GG in old and middle-aged rats.Transitions in tongue muscle contractile properties and phenotype were found after NMES.

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