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J Neurophysiol. 2013 Jun;109(11):2705-11. doi: 10.1152/jn.00108.2013. Epub 2013 Mar 13.

The influence of a 5-wk whole body vibration on electrophysiological properties of rat hindlimb spinal motoneurons.

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Department of Neurobiology, University School of Physical Education, Poznań, Poland.


The study aimed at determining the influence of a whole body vibration (WBV) on electrophysiological properties of spinal motoneurons. The WBV training was performed on adult male Wistar rats, 5 days a week, for 5 wk, and each daily session consisted of four 30-s runs of vibration at 50 Hz. Motoneuron properties were investigated intracellularly during experiments on deeply anesthetized animals. The experimental group subjected to the WBV consisted of seven rats, and the control group of nine rats. The WBV treatment induced no significant changes in the passive membrane properties of motoneurons. However, the WBV-evoked adaptations in excitability and firing properties were observed, and they were limited to fast-type motoneurons. A significant decrease in rheobase current and a decrease in the minimum and the maximum currents required to evoke steady-state firing in motoneurons were revealed. These changes resulted in a leftward shift of the frequency-current relationship, combined with an increase in slope of this curve. The functional relevance of the described adaptive changes is the ability of fast motoneurons of rats subjected to the WBV to produce series of action potentials at higher frequencies in a response to the same intensity of activation. Previous studies proved that WBV induces changes in the contractile parameters predominantly of fast motor units (MUs). The data obtained in our experiment shed a new light to possible explanation of these results, suggesting that neuronal factors also play a substantial role in MU adaptation.


membrane properties; motoneuron; rat; training; whole body vibration

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