Introduction: Disuse-induced skeletal muscle atrophy is a serious concern; however, there is not an effective mouse model to elucidate the molecular mechanisms. We developed a noninvasive atrophy model in mice. Methods: After the ankle joints of mice were bandaged into a bilateral plantar flexed position, either bilateral or unilateral hindlimbs were immobilized by wrapping in bonsai steel wire. Results: After 3, 5, or 10 days of immobilization of the hip, knee, and ankle, the weight of the soleus and plantaris muscles decreased significantly in both bilateral and unilateral immobilization. MAFbx/atrogin-1 and MuRF1 mRNA was found to have significantly increased in both muscles, consistent with disuse-induced atrophy. Notably, the procedure did not result in either edema or necrosis in the fixed hindlimbs. Conclusions: This method allows repeated, direct access to the immobilized muscle, making it a useful procedure for concurrent application and assessment of various therapeutic interventions. Muscle Nerve 54: 788–791, 2016.
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