Int J Med Sci 2019; 16(12):1549-1556. doi:10.7150/ijms.37442 This issue

Research Paper

Congenital exercise ability ameliorates muscle atrophy but not spinal cord recovery in spinal cord injury mouse model

Po-An Tai1,2, Yi-Ju Hsu3, Wen-Ching Huang4, Chun-Hao Chang3, Yi-Hsun Chen5, Chi-Chang Huang3✉, Li Wei1,6✉

1. Division of Neurosurgery, Department of Surgery, Taipei Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, New Taipei City 23142, Taiwan.
2. Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, Buddhist Tzu Chi University, Hualien County 97004, Taiwan
3. Graduate Institute of Sports Science, National Taiwan Sport University, Taoyuan 33301, Taiwan;
4. Department of Exercise and Health Science, National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Sciences, Taipei 11219, Taiwan;
5. Graduate Institute of Veterinary Pathobiology, National Chung Hsin University, Taichung, 402, Taiwan;;
6. Graduate Institute of Injury Prevention and Control, College of Public Health, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 11031, Taiwan.

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Tai PA, Hsu YJ, Huang WC, Chang CH, Chen YH, Huang CC, Wei L. Congenital exercise ability ameliorates muscle atrophy but not spinal cord recovery in spinal cord injury mouse model. Int J Med Sci 2019; 16(12):1549-1556. doi:10.7150/ijms.37442. Available from

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Spinal cord injury (SCI) can cause loss of mobility in the limbs, and no drugs, surgical procedures, or rehabilitation strategies provide a complete cure. Exercise capacity is thought to be associated with the causes of many diseases. However, no studies to date have assessed whether congenital exercise ability is related to the recovery of spinal cord injury. High congenital exercise ability (HE) and low congenital exercise ability (LE) mice were artificially bred from the same founder ICR mice. The HE and LE groups still exhibited differences in exercise ability after 13 generations of breeding. Histological staining and immunohistochemistry staining indicated no significant differences between the HE and LE groups on recovery of the spinal cord. In contrast, after SCI, the HE group exhibited better mobility in gait analysis and longer endurance times in the exhaustive swimming test than the LE group. In addition, after SCI, the HE group also exhibited less atrophy than the LE group, and no inflammatory cells appeared. In conclusion, we found that high congenital exercise ability may reduce the rate of muscle atrophy. This result can be applied to sports science and rehabilitation science as a reference for preventive medicine research.

Keywords: spinal cord injury, congenital exercise ability, muscle atrophy