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Increase in serum nerve growth factor but not intervertebral disc degeneration following whole-body vibration in rats

  • Author Footnotes
    1 Present address: J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering, 1275 Center Dr., Gainesville, FL, 32610, USA.
    Folly M. Patterson
    Footnotes
    1 Present address: J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering, 1275 Center Dr., Gainesville, FL, 32610, USA.
    Affiliations
    Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Mississippi State University, 130 Creelman Street, Mississippi State, MS, 39762, USA

    Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems, Mississippi State University, 200 Research Blvd, Starkville, MS 39759, USA
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  • Raheleh Miralami
    Affiliations
    Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Mississippi State University, 130 Creelman Street, Mississippi State, MS, 39762, USA

    Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems, Mississippi State University, 200 Research Blvd, Starkville, MS 39759, USA
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  • Alicia K. Olivier
    Affiliations
    Department of Pathobiology and Population Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Mississippi State University, 240 Wise Center Drive, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA
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  • Kaylin McNulty
    Affiliations
    Department of Pathobiology and Population Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Mississippi State University, 240 Wise Center Drive, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA
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  • Author Footnotes
    2 Present address: Imaging Physics Operations, U. T. M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd., Houston, TX, 77030, USA.
    John W. Wood
    Footnotes
    2 Present address: Imaging Physics Operations, U. T. M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd., Houston, TX, 77030, USA.
    Affiliations
    Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Mississippi State University, 130 Creelman Street, Mississippi State, MS, 39762, USA

    Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems, Mississippi State University, 200 Research Blvd, Starkville, MS 39759, USA
    Search for articles by this author
  • Author Footnotes
    3 Present address: Universities Space Research Association, Glenn Research Center, 21,000 Brookpark Rd, Cleveland, OH, 44135, USA.
    R.K. Prabhu
    Footnotes
    3 Present address: Universities Space Research Association, Glenn Research Center, 21,000 Brookpark Rd, Cleveland, OH, 44135, USA.
    Affiliations
    Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Mississippi State University, 130 Creelman Street, Mississippi State, MS, 39762, USA

    Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems, Mississippi State University, 200 Research Blvd, Starkville, MS 39759, USA
    Search for articles by this author
  • Lauren B. Priddy
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author at: Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Mississippi State University, 130 Creelman Street, Mississippi State, MS, 39762, USA.
    Affiliations
    Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Mississippi State University, 130 Creelman Street, Mississippi State, MS, 39762, USA

    Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems, Mississippi State University, 200 Research Blvd, Starkville, MS 39759, USA
    Search for articles by this author
  • Author Footnotes
    1 Present address: J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering, 1275 Center Dr., Gainesville, FL, 32610, USA.
    2 Present address: Imaging Physics Operations, U. T. M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd., Houston, TX, 77030, USA.
    3 Present address: Universities Space Research Association, Glenn Research Center, 21,000 Brookpark Rd, Cleveland, OH, 44135, USA.

      Highlights

      • Rats were subjected to repeated whole-body vibration at 8 Hz or 11 Hz.
      • Serum nerve growth factor concentration increased more following vibration at 8 Hz.
      • Increased nerve growth factor did not result in intervertebral disc degeneration.
      • Nerve growth factor could be used to diagnose low back pain from whole-body vibration.

      Abstract

      Background

      Low back pain is a leading cause of disability and is frequently associated with whole-body vibration exposure in industrial workers and military personnel. While the pathophysiological mechanisms by which whole-body vibration causes low back pain have been studied in vivo, there is little data to inform low back pain diagnosis. Using a rat model of repetitive whole-body vibration followed by recovery, our objective was to determine the effects of vibration frequency on hind paw withdrawal threshold, circulating nerve growth factor concentration, and intervertebral disc degeneration.

      Methods

      Male Sprague-Dawley rats were vibrated for 30 min at an 8 Hz or 11 Hz frequency every other day for two weeks and then recovered (no vibration) for one week. Von Frey was used to determine hind paw mechanical sensitivity every two days. Serum nerve growth factor concentration was determined every four days. At the three-week endpoint, intervertebral discs were graded histologically for degeneration.

      Findings

      The nerve growth factor concentration increased threefold in the 8 Hz group and twofold in the 11 Hz group. The nerve growth factor concentration did not return to baseline by the end of the one-week recovery period for the 8 Hz group. Nerve growth factor serum concentration did not coincide with intervertebral disc degeneration, as no differences in degeneration were observed among groups. Mechanical sensitivity generally decreased over time for all groups, suggesting a habituation (desensitization) effect.

      Interpretation

      This study demonstrates the potential of nerve growth factor as a diagnostic biomarker for low back pain due to whole-body vibration.

      Keywords

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