Method for counting motor units in mice (Major et al 2007)

"... Our goal was to develop an efficient method to determine the number of motor neurons making functional connections to muscle in a transgenic mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We developed a novel protocol for motor unit number estimation (MUNE) using incremental stimulation. The method involves analysis of twitch waveforms using a new software program, ITS-MUNE, designed for interactive calculation of motor unit number. The method was validated by testing simulated twitch data from a mathematical model of the neuromuscular system. Computer simulations followed the same stimulus-response protocol and produced waveform data that were indistinguishable from experiments. ... The ITS-MUNE analysis method has the potential to quantitatively measure the progression of motor neuron diseases and therefore the efficacy of treatments designed to alleviate pathologic processes of muscle denervation." The software is available for download under the "ITS-MUNE software" link at (see below for links)."

Model Concept(s): Methods; Pathophysiology

Simulation Environment: MATLAB (web link to model)


Major LA, Hegedus J, Weber DJ, Gordon T, Jones KE. (2007). Method for counting motor units in mice and validation using a mathematical model. Journal of neurophysiology. 97 [PubMed]

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