Functional impact of diaphragm muscle sarcopenia in both male and female mice

Sarah M. Greising, Carlos B. Mantilla, Juan S. Medina-Martínez, Jessica M. Stowe, Gary C. Sieck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


To perform a range of ventilatory and nonventilatory behaviors, the diaphragm muscle (DIAm) must be able to generate sufficient forces throughout the lifespan. We hypothesized that sarcopenia impacts DIAm force generation and thus limits performance of expulsive, higher force, nonventilatory behaviors. Male and female mice (n = 79) at 6 and 24 mo of age (100 vs. 70-75% survival, respectively) were used to examine transdiaphragmatic pressure (Pdi) generation across motor behaviors in vivo and in vitro DIAm specific force. We found a significant effect of age on maximum Pdi (20-41% decline during tracheal occlusion and bilateral phrenic nerve stimulation), maximum DIAm specific force (30% decline), and DIAm fatigue resistance (15% increase). There were no differences between sexes in these age effects on DIAm performance. These results support our hypothesis that sarcopenia primarily impacts higher force, nonventilatory motor behaviors of the DIAm. Such functional limitations may have negative implications in the ability of the DIAm to generate forces needed for airway clearance in old age and thereby contribute to age-related respiratory complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L46-L52
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 6 2015


  • Aging
  • Respiratory muscles
  • Sex differences
  • Transdiaphragmatic pressure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


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