Dissertation Award for Emily Brownell: Utilization of massage to limit disuse atrophy and enhance regrowth in skeletal muscle

Grants and Contracts Details


Key words: Massage, Hypertrophy, Atrophy, Mechanotransduction, mTOR pathway Recent evidence has shown that massage effectively accelerates the restoration of muscle function following exercise, although the cellular mechanisms remain unknown. We hypothesize that massage promotes the recovery of muscle function through its actions on anabolic and catabolic pathways, resulting in a beneficial maintenance of muscle size. We will use a novel cyclic compressive loading device (CCLD) to simulate massage, allowing for the application of valid and reliable forces at various magnitudes, durations, and frequencies. We will measure the effects of simulated massage on the well known hypertrophic pathway in skeletal muscle. The response to massage will be assessed by measuring the expression of two specific markers of the mTOR pathway: pp70s6k/p70s6k ratio as a marker of activation; and, REDD2 as a marker of inhibition. Protein levels of these markers will be compared following application of massage using three different loads to address the potential load dependent responses of the pathway. If massage is shown to activate the mTOR pathway, it may prove beneficial to limit the loss of muscle mass and function during disuse atrophy, and prove to be an effective a means to facilitate an earlier return to normal function and activity level.
Effective start/end date8/1/127/31/13


  • NATA Research & Education Foundation: $985.00


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