Nerve and Neuromuscular Junction Health

Nerve Conduction Velocity


Rationale: Nerve conduction velocity is measured to evaluate how fast nerves conduct electrical signals in the body. The study of nerve conduction can determine nerve damage and deterioration.

Instrument: NicoletTM VikingQuest EMG.

Measures: Stimulation is performed by placing electrodes in nerves of interest. Responses are recorded with electrodes inserted into relevant areas. A ground electrode is inserted subcutaneously. Stimulation and recording of responses are performed with the NicoletTM VikingQuest EMG instrument.

Data Inference: Nerve conduction velocity (NCV) is measured as the speed at which an electrochemical impulse transmits down a neural pathway. NCV provides an indication of nerve function and myelination. Repetitive nerve stimulation (RNS) provides an electromyography measure of neuromuscular junction function.

Controls: NCV, RNS and electromyography are performed on anesthetized animals. Care is taken to maintain constant body temperature during the procedure.

Tail Flick


Rationale: The tail flick test measures tail nerve response.

Instrument: IITC Life Science Tail Flick Apparatus.

Measures: A halogen light provides a heat source that is applied to an area of skin on the tail. A built-in sensor detects when the animal flicks its tail. Latency is recorded.

Data Inference: On testing day the mouse is placed on the machine in a restraint tube with a portion of the tail covering the sensor located underneath the heat source. The test is started with the heat increasing on the tail for no more than 10 seconds. Once the mouse flicks its tail the test is automatically stopped and the time is recorded.

Controls: Care is taken that the animals are habituated to a clear restraint tube for three days and then tested on the fourth day.