Diaphragm muscle sarcopenia into very old age in mice

Pangdra Vang, Amrit Vasdev, Wen Zhi Zhan, Heather M. Gransee, Gary C. Sieck, Carlos B. Mantilla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Sarcopenia is the age-related decline of skeletal muscle mass and function. Diaphragm muscle (DIAm) sarcopenia may contribute to respiratory complications, a common cause of morbidity and mortality in the elderly. From 6 to 24 months (mo) of age, representing ~100% and ~80% survival in C57BL/6 × 129 male and female mice, there is a significant reduction in DIAm force generation (~30%) and cross-sectional area (CSA) of type IIx and/or IIb muscle fibers (~30%), impacting the ability to perform high force, non-ventilatory behaviors. To date, there is little information available regarding DIAm sarcopenia in very old age groups. The present study examined DIAm sarcopenia in C57BL/6 × 129 male and female mice at 24, 27, and 30 mo, representing ~80%, ~60%, and ~30% survival, respectively. We hypothesized that survival into older ages will show no further worsening of DIAm sarcopenia and functional impairment in 30 mo mice compared to 24 or 27 mo C57BL/6 × 129 mice. Measurements included resting ventilation, transdiaphragmatic pressure (Pdi) generation across a range of motor behaviors, muscle fiber CSA, and proportion of type-identified DIAm fibers. Maximum Pdi and resting ventilation did not change into very old age (from 24 to 30 mo). Type IIx and/or IIb fiber CSA and proportions did not change into very old age. The results of the study support a critical threshold for the reduction in DIAm force and Pdi such that survival into very old age is not associated with evidence of progression of DIAm sarcopenia or impairment in ventilation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere14305
JournalPhysiological reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • aging
  • cross-sectional area
  • transdiaphragmatic pressure
  • ventilation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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